Griffith hospital hiccup

CONVINCING St Vincent's Health Australia to sign the dotted line on the lease for Griffith's new private hospital has proven harder than expected.

Late last year the St Vincent's board officially agreed to fund a sterilisation unit, putting to rest an eight-month battle between the hospital and the state government over who would fund the essential service, but minor details have still not been settled.

It was expected the lease would be signed at the beginning of this year but a contractual agreement between the private and public hospitals dealing with shared services has not been met and a number of health funds have not given their final assurances.

Mayor John Dal Broi was frustrated small details had delayed a major milestone in the progression of a major community facility but assured locals progress was continuing.

"When St Vincent's agreed to build a new sterilisation unit they had an expectation Griffith Base Hospital would contract their sterilisation services, but that hasn't been signed off and that's what they're waiting for," Cr Dal Broi said.

"I'm a little peeved that hasn't happened because the state hasn't contributed anything towards the project and St Vincent's have informed me the cost to the base hospital is within industry standards, so I don't know why they haven't signed up.

"These issues are totally out of council's control but I have been assured these loose ends should be tied up within a few weeks.

"The good news is design work is still happening, none of the groundwork has been stopped and they are still likely to go to tender some time in June."

Griffith's state government representative Adrian Piccoli has stepped in to bring the matter to the attention of the health minister.

"It's a nuts and bolts operational matter for NSW Health, but I have spoken to health mister Jillian Skinner twice in the last week about it and I'm confident these issues can be addressed," Mr Piccoli said.

"It comes down to what Griffith Base Hospital need and how much they can pay for it and the people at that financial level who know the details will need to make those decisions.

"As I said, it will go ahead but these technical issues need to be sorted out."

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