Bulldozers Placed in Way of Democracy say mona vale Hospital Campaigners
Residents have called for a halt to demolition of buildings at Mona Vale hospital next week while a Parliamentary inquiry is underway into facilities serving the area.
Save Mona Vale Hospital chairman Parry Thomas said the group had received information that demolition of the 1960s-era Mona Vale Hospital buildings will begin next week – starting with the removal of asbestos.
Construction crews were preparing for the demolition on site, according to reports last weekend of NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard saying the “former main building and nurses’ accommodation, which has asbestos, will go”.
Mr Thomas said it was appalling and unbelievable that the government would demolish the hospital buildings just as a Parliamentary inquiry begins into hospital services on the Northern Beaches.
“The NSW Coalition is placing bulldozers in the way of democracy,” Mr Thomas said in a statement.
“Health Minister Brad Hazard and our local MP Rob Stokes are showing a total disregard for the community and Parliamentary process that they’re not prepared to wait for the findings of the inquiry.
“Last October – in the lead up to the state election – Mr Hazzard told us there would be no demolition.
“But the government now wants to pull the buildings down – before Parliament has had a chance to investigate the fiasco at the new hospital.
“The community has told them that we want Mona Vale upgraded and restored as an acute care, public hospital and we are outraged at the actions of the government.”
Mona Vale Hospital buildings fenced off this week - a construction site requirement. Photo supplied.
The NSW Upper House is holding an Inquiry into the Northern Beaches Hospital with wide-ranging terms, including: “The impact of the hospital on surrounding communities and health facilities, particularly Mona Vale Hospital, Manly Hospital and Royal North Shore Hospital”.
Newly-appointed Labor Treasury spokesman Walt Secord – who established the inquiry last month in the Opposition’s Health portfolio - said it would “help lift the cloak of secrecy surrounding the private-public partnership (PPP)” under which the hospital was developed and is administered.
On Friday, July 5th, newly named Labor Minister for Health Ryan Park MP said in a statement that locals were not happy with the announcement that demolition works on the Mona Vale Hospital building were set to commence as early as this coming week.
"I find it astonishing that this Government is going to tear down this facility when the Parliamentary Inquiry is underway. They have shown complete disregard for the concerns the community has raised." Mr. Park said.
"The community have been very clear on this issue, they want Mona Vale Hospital saved, especially given the massive failings of the Northern Beaches Hospital."
A recent Bureau of Health Information report on the Northern Beaches Hospital indicated only 59.9 % of patients were treated in the clinically recommended time frame in Jan-March this year. This compares with 85.8% at Mona Vale Hospital last year.
Submissions for the Inquiry close on July 28 and the committee will report back in early 2020.
Full terms of the inquiry can be found at: HERE
Submissions can be lodged online at:
The MVH Nurses block and hospital tower slated for demolition - photo from MVH 50 Year Anniversary Celebrations of 2014