Hundreds gathered at the Stirling RSL last night, Thursday 11 May, to hear about the future of the Stirling Community Hospital.
The hospital’s leadership team say the private facility may have to relocate from the site it has been at since 1927, due to an estimated $50 million in construction costs to stay compliant with modernised health codes.
Josh Teague MP set up the forum, following concerns from his constituents about the potential relocation of the building to Mount Barker or another location away from Stirling.
The Liberal Member for Heysen invited Shadow Health Minister Ashton Hurn, former Heysen Member Isobel Redmond and hospital leadership staff to the event to discuss the proposed plans and answer stakeholder concerns.
Speaking to ARN’s Jennie Lenman and Adam Connelly this morning, Teague said around 200 people came along.
“We had an absolutely jam-packed hall and that included several past board chairs and many past board members and community members across the decade who’ve made contributions to the hospital, including the Stirling Op Shop, for example, that over the years has donated around half a million dollars to support the hospital,” Josh Teague said.
“So there’s a deep community investment and commitment and love for the Stirling Hospital and I know that my community is going to do all that is necessary to keep it open in Stirling for many decades to come.”
He said the hospital has made clear that, at this stage, no options have been ruled out and no decisions have been set in stone.
“The hospital leadership could see very loudly and clearly last night that there’s a capabale and committed community that is going to do all it can to help so I think we can work together to explore a whole range of ways of tackling these problems.”
Health Minister Chris Picton said be believes Teague and the Shadow Health Minister are “playing politics with people’s health” when they know that the Stirling Community Hospital is not a public facility.
“Stirling Hospital is a private hospital and their discussion about a potential re-location is a matter for the hospital under their constitution,” Minister Picton said.
“The Malinauskas Government is tripling the size of the public Mount Barker Hospital [and] is investing a record $2.4 billion in health, opening hundreds more beds, hiring hundreds more doctors, nurses and paramedics and building more wards and ambulance stations,
“The truth is – the Liberals have absolutely zero intention if they were elected of spending taxpayer funds to redevelop the private Stirling Hospital. This is yet another cheap way of trying to get a headline from the Liberals who refused requests to upgrade private hospitals when they were in office just a year ago.”
Story by Jennie Lenman
Photo of Stirling Hospital from Google Maps, supplied