Prime Minister Tony Abbott praises private healthcare at Sydney Adventist Hospital’s $200 million redevelopment opening
Prime Minister Tony Abbott paid tribute to the private healthcare sector for keeping the public sector sustainable, during his address at the official opening of Sydney Adventist Hospital’s new $200 million redevelopment on October 17.
“Private hospitals such as this help to make our public hospitals better,” Prime Minister Abbott said to the 500 attendees including federal Health Minister Peter Dutton, NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner, dignitaries, supporters and staff.
“There’s the cross pollination that comes from many of the senior staff working in both systems, there’s the fact that if the public system is under pressure, the private system can take some of that pressure off.
“I see the private system … as complementing and supporting the public system, the public hospitals, that we all so rely on. “Something like two thirds of all elective procedures are done in the private system – if we didn’t have the private system how much more difficult it would be to get procedures done in our public hospitals. ”
NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner was equally effusive about the hospital’s expansion. “I think with demand for services due to increase by around 50 per cent in the next 20 years, this building, this $200 million redevelopment, is really timely,” she said. “It has been six years in the making and as you can see the enormous investment in time and planning has more than paid off.”
After the opening ceremony the official party met new mums, babies, midwives, surgical staff on break from operating theatre procedures and cancer patients and their carers during a tour of the new maternity unit, operating theatres and the Integrated Cancer Centre Healing Garden.
Prime Minister Abbott unveiled a plaque for the new 12-storey LW Clark Tower, the highlight of the redevelopment which increases the hospital’s capacity to over 550 inpatient beds, another 300 plus day beds, and up to 24 operating theatres designed to meet increasing healthcare demands.
Prime Minister Abbott joked, “You know, everyone loves to see a doctor or a nurse when they’re sick because doctors and nurses solve your problems. “People are not normally as happy to see politicians because politicians are thought to because your problems.”
He added, “I’m just so delighted to be here today to bask in the glory, to bask in the glory of the doctors and nurses and all the other professional and other staff who make this hospital such a splendid success and make it such an important institution in the healthcare system of NSW and of Australia.”