THE future of the Griffith Community Private Hospital is unclear and the Griffith mayor has reached his "wit's end" trying to get a commitment from St Vincent's Private and Mater Hospitals.
Last December, Councillor John Dal Broi told The Area News St Vincent's and Griffith City Council would sign the dotted line on the lease for the city's first private hospital in a matter of weeks, but nearly eight months later, the mayor is feeling the heat from concerned locals.
The delay has been caused by protracted negotiations between St Vincent's and the board of the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) surrounding the division of services between the new development and the existing Griffith Base Hospital.
Cr Dal Broi wasn't prepared to name which party was to blame for the setback, but feared the Commonwealth Government would get cold feet and withdraw its funding if the stalemate wasn't resolved quickly.
"My reputation is on the line for as long as we don't have a signature on the lease and we're at our wit's end," Cr Dal Broi said.
"Over the past 12 months, I've given the community dates and set time frames for when things would be finalised, but they haven't happened.
'It leaves me open to criticism of people who ask if I’m genuine that the lease will ever be signed.
“I’m confident it’s going to happen, I just wish they’d get their act together.
“I have to ask the question – is Murrumbidgee Local or St Vincent’s holding this up. Both say they are completely supportive and committed to this development, but we aren’t seeing bricks and mortar.”
Cr Dal Broi said after Patrizio Buanne’s fundraising concert this weekend, the community fund will be “a few dollars” short of the $1 million target, proving council and the Griffith community have upheld their end of the bargain.
Executive director of St Vincent’s Private and Mater Hospitals Robert Cusack said the negotiations concerned clinical services, food provision and Sterilisation services.
“The board wants to make sure the hospital is sustainable for the future before signing,” Mr Cusack said.
“We want to finalise it as soon as possible, but you can understand we need to make sure the hospital will be sustainable, this is an important part of the work we’re doing.
“It’s about identifying where it makes sense to have shared services (with Griffith Base Hospital) and those things require, like any commercial negotiation, an agreement on terms.
“The negotiations are well advanced, but I can’t specifically say when they will be done.”