Queensland Premier Campbell Newman says his government is exploring building hotel-style accommodation at a major public hospital site to free up beds.
Queensland’s premier has been accused of pushing a sneaky plan to sell off a third of an inner-city hospital campus for a residential redevelopment.
But Campbell Newman says the government’s proposals for the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital site are about creating hotel-style accommodation to free up public hospital beds.
“The idea is to allow redevelopment that will ensure that we can better treat patients on that site, that we can have all sorts of other offerings there,” he told reporters.
“There are facilities proposed, both interstate and overseas, which is akin to a hotel where people come in for medical procedures and then are given a level of care within this hotel.
“It means they don’t actually have to sit in a ward, which takes pressure off public beds.”
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk, however, said the plan to redevelop about one-third of the hospital site at Herston, in the city’s inner north, would change the nature of the hospital and hamper future expansion plans.
“There has been no public consultation. It’s very sneaky and it’s not good enough,” she told reporters.
“It’s about time that Campbell Newman came clean and explain why he has hidden this from Queenslanders.”
The premier said he was open to the idea of a public-private partnership.
“We’re looking at opportunities to get better value out of the … public health dollar, and better serve patients and …there may well be public-private partnerships involved,” he said.
But Ms Palaszczuk said assets on the 18-hectare hospital site needed to remain in public hands.