When the NHS wants to do something, the government says it needs to pay
More than a decade after a US-based breast implant company announced its plans to build a hospital in Sydney, the Government is yet to sign off on the venture.
The National Health and Medical Research Council said in November it was interested in developing a hospital for the country’s $100 billion cancer treatment industry, but was yet to formally approve the idea.
NHS spokeswoman Sarah Higginson said the Government was reviewing the application.
“The government is reviewing the submission and the Government will consider its consideration of this proposal if it has received the submission,” she said.
Last month, the NSW Government announced it was extending a grant of up to $5 million to a new cancer treatment centre in the city, to be run by an Australian company, which has been in operation since 2005.
In September, the US company announced it would build a new facility in Sydney.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said the application for the hospital would be considered by a panel of experts, including members of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Surgeons and the Royal College of General Practitioners.
She said the hospital could potentially be the “largest in the world”.
“If we were to receive the grant, we would be able to commence planning for the facility,” she told the ABC.
This is not the first time the Government has been criticised for not approving a proposed facility.
Back in 2015, the then Labor Government was criticised for rejecting the proposed Cancer Support Hospital at Lismore, due to lack of funding.
And last year, the Department for Health said it had not approved a proposal to build another hospital in Victoria’s north.
Ms Higgison said the new hospital would provide a new, affordable option for patients with cancer and help manage the costs of the existing facilities.