THE men in charge of the new private hospital made a flying visit to Griffith on Tuesday to fine tune plans ahead of an imminent lease signing.
CEO of St Vincent's Private Robert Cusack and CEO of St Vincent's private hospital division Martin Day spent the day meeting with staff from Griffith Base Hospital and council.
Mr Cusack confirmed construction will begin in October and will be fully operational by the end of next year.
"Just about everything's been finalised for the lease, council just needs to put it through its formal process," Mr Cusack said.
"We expect to start construction in October and it will take 12 months, so by then end of 2015 the private hospital will commence operations.
"We have had discussion with Griffith Base Hospital about the type of medical services we could offer in order to attract specialists to Griffith." It was expected the lease would be signed next week as discussions between council and St Vincent's continued via teleconference yesterday.
"Wherever possible, we are intent on using local builders but we need to make sure the tradesmen have the specific skills and expertise required to build a hospital," Mr Cusack said.
"We also have to meet the commonwealth government guidelines for the tendering process."
Mr Cusack was intent on turning the sod as soon as possible to boost local healthcare standards.
"There is a long list of opportunities to build on healthcare facilities for this community," he said.
"We want to stop travelling long distances for medical attention and of course there is a good opportunity to build the local workforce.
"We will continue to work with Griffith Base Hospital to determine what services can be shared."