SA builds world's most expensive hospital

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stumpjumper
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SA builds world's most expensive hospital

#1 Post by stumpjumper » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:49 am

A German firm has produced a list of the world's most expensive buildings. The SA government is a major titleholder.

http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/12/austr ... ver-built/

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/nationa ... 7268683486

So the taxpayer has had to fund the most expensive hospital in history - the third most expensive building ever built - as well as the world's most expensive stadium per seat. The Myer Centre gets a mention too. It's not just the SA taxpayer, either. Most of the money has come from GST paid by taxpayers in other states and distributed to us.

'Again, hospitals are notoriously expensive structures to build, with plenty of pricey mechanical and electronic systems involved, but this hospital in South Australia will go far beyond any historical record for cost: At $2.1 billion, it will easily become the most expensive hospital ever built when it’s completed next year.'

When I was selling real estate, we had a term for naive suckers: wood ducks. They'd turn up in a Range Rover at some overpriced property and pay full price. It has a ring to it - 'Wood Duck Weatherill'.

Weatherill and co quietly tipped another $177 million into the hospital the other day, and I hear that project management and cost control on the site is a shambles. Every union and every contractor are having a very big drink from that project.

The sad thing is that we could have, and probably should have, renovated the old RAH for $600 million or whatever. The new RAH was the result of politics rather than need.

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Re: SA builds world's most expensive hospital

#2 Post by Nathan » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:54 am

I saw the Gizmodo article being touted around earlier in the week, and I gather they got their stats from Emporis.
http://www.emporis.com/statistics/most- ... -buildings

However Wikipedia's list of most expensive buildings is very different.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mo ... _the_world

The RAH doesn't appear on that list as I assume it's only listing completed buildings, but if it did, it would sit at about 11th or 12th (depending on when you want to peg the exchange rate against the USD), and even lower when you adjust for inflation. It also appears that two other hospitals in Australia (Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth and Sunshine Coast University Hospital) will be joining the RAH in nudging over the $2b mark.

There seems to be quite a few buildings on Wikipedia's list that are missing from Emporis', and some discrepancy in the cost of some others (like Wynn in Las Vegas — Wiki has it as US$2.7b, and Emporis as US$0.99b...)

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Re: SA builds world's most expensive hospital

#3 Post by Wayno » Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:22 pm

Regardless of facts it's front page of the Australian today. d'oh!
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Re: SA builds world's most expensive hospital

#4 Post by rev » Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:12 pm

stumpjumper wrote:A German firm has produced a list of the world's most expensive buildings. The SA government is a major titleholder.

http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/12/austr ... ver-built/

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/nationa ... 7268683486

So the taxpayer has had to fund the most expensive hospital in history - the third most expensive building ever built - as well as the world's most expensive stadium per seat. The Myer Centre gets a mention too. It's not just the SA taxpayer, either. Most of the money has come from GST paid by taxpayers in other states and distributed to us.

'Again, hospitals are notoriously expensive structures to build, with plenty of pricey mechanical and electronic systems involved, but this hospital in South Australia will go far beyond any historical record for cost: At $2.1 billion, it will easily become the most expensive hospital ever built when it’s completed next year.'

When I was selling real estate, we had a term for naive suckers: wood ducks. They'd turn up in a Range Rover at some overpriced property and pay full price. It has a ring to it - 'Wood Duck Weatherill'.

Weatherill and co quietly tipped another $177 million into the hospital the other day, and I hear that project management and cost control on the site is a shambles. Every union and every contractor are having a very big drink from that project.

The sad thing is that we could have, and probably should have, renovated the old RAH for $600 million or whatever. The new RAH was the result of politics rather than need.
Well who the hell do you expect to fund it? The leprechauns at the end of the rainbow with their pots of gold?

We get it you hate Labor and are a staunch Liberal member, but come on.

The Gold Coast has a new $1.8 billion dollar hospital. Take into account that the Gold Coast has about half of Adelaide's population.
What your link also says, under the Gold Coast hospital listing which is also applicable to the NRAH here..
With the arrival of modern medical machinery, the cost of building healthcare buildings has skyrocketed — which helps to explain why two of the most expensive buildings, on a list populated by skyscrapers and vanity projects by dictators, are hospitals. The first of the two is Australia’s Gold Coast University Hospital, a seven-building complex that cost $US1.55 billion ($1.8 billion).
GCUH has have 20 operating theaters, 750 beds, 2200 car parks, and about 3/4 of the rooms are private/single.
NRAH will have 40 operating theaters, 800 beds, 2300 car parks and all rooms will be private/single.
NRAH will be the most technologically advanced hospital in the country when it's completed.

Of course it could have been managed better. Most things governments touch usually can be managed better regardless of which party is in power.


You know, the way I look at it, and so do many other South Australians, is like this...

Yeh we have had to spend big bucks on new infrastructure that's put our state government into more debt.
However, these things are needed. The infrastructure being built is not only required but long over due. And since we've waited so long, because both sides have been incompetent, we now have to pay a higher price for those things.
But just because we have to pay a higher price, does not mean we should not build the infrastructure we need.

And while Labor may not have a 100% perfect track record managing these things, at least they are getting on with building the infrastructure our state needs. The alternative is nothing from the Liberal party.


Where is your party's plans and visions stumpy?
You are always having a go at Labor. But offer no alternatives from the Liberal party you want to fight on behalf of and represent.
At least show us the official policies of the Liberal party to counter what you disagree with the state government on.

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Re: SA builds world's most expensive hospital

#5 Post by stumpjumper » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:38 pm

First, the Libs aren't my party, rev.

Secondly, if we could have got the same level or performance by renovating the old hospital for $600 million, as was claimed by the group Save the RAH, led by Dr Jim Katsaros, then Labor should have foregone the political advantage of 'giving' South Australians a new hospital and spent the money on something else. Several hospitals larger than the RAH have been satisfactorily renovated on site in recent years, in London particularly. I have no idea of the relative merits of either argument, renovate or build. I do know that there was no cost benefit assessment done. I assume the political benefits were felt to be so large as to outweigh any financial disadvantage.

I reserve my judgement on the operation of the new hospital. I think the less than ideal site (rail lines, poor access, public Park Lands) was chosen because the land could not otherwise be sold, unlike for example the Clipsal site, which the government is now selling. I do not think the continuous development of the north side of North Tce is sound in planning terms for Adelaide either.

As for Queensland, their hospital may have been built in response to a legitimate need that nothing else could satisfy, and they probably didn't break the bank to build it.

I don't know how the German company assessed the cost of the new hospital. Per sq m of floor, I suppose.

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Re: SA builds world's most expensive hospital

#6 Post by phenom » Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:17 pm

stumpjumper wrote:First, the Libs aren't my party, rev.

As for Queensland, their hospital may have been built in response to a legitimate need that nothing else could satisfy, and they probably didn't break the bank to build it.
QLD is a bad example, their government debt as a proportion of their economy is significantly higher than SA. If anyone has been 'breaking the bank, it's QLD not SA.

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Re: SA builds world's most expensive hospital

#7 Post by stumpjumper » Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:53 pm

Thanks. Perhaps hospitals are the new circuses, as in bread and circuses.

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Re: SA builds world's most expensive hospital

#8 Post by Will » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:57 pm

stumpjumper wrote:First, the Libs aren't my party, rev.

Secondly, if we could have got the same level or performance by renovating the old hospital for $600 million, as was claimed by the group Save the RAH, led by Dr Jim Katsaros, then Labor should have foregone the political advantage of 'giving' South Australians a new hospital and spent the money on something else. Several hospitals larger than the RAH have been satisfactorily renovated on site in recent years, in London particularly. I have no idea of the relative merits of either argument, renovate or build. I do know that there was no cost benefit assessment done. I assume the political benefits were felt to be so large as to outweigh any financial disadvantage.

I reserve my judgement on the operation of the new hospital. I think the less than ideal site (rail lines, poor access, public Park Lands) was chosen because the land could not otherwise be sold, unlike for example the Clipsal site, which the government is now selling. I do not think the continuous development of the north side of North Tce is sound in planning terms for Adelaide either.

As for Queensland, their hospital may have been built in response to a legitimate need that nothing else could satisfy, and they probably didn't break the bank to build it.

I don't know how the German company assessed the cost of the new hospital. Per sq m of floor, I suppose.
Renovating the current RAH site would have been a further example of SA doing things half-arsed. It would have resulted in waves of people screaming of how backwards the thinking in our state is. I find it bizarre, how people whinge when we as a state do things half-arsed, yet also whinge when we do them right. We can't win.

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Re: SA builds world's most expensive hospital

#9 Post by Llessur2002 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:34 pm

Will wrote:Renovating the current RAH site would have been a further example of SA doing things half-arsed. It would have resulted in waves of people screaming of how backwards the thinking in our state is. I find it bizarre, how people whinge when we as a state do things half-arsed, yet also whinge when we do them right. We can't win.
Fully agree - much of the current RAH site consists of buildings at or beyond the end of their design life which would either have resulted in a shoddy patch-up job that would need further extensive work in 10 years or complete demolition and rebuilding - with an associated massive impact on hospital capacity during the works. Then there's the money pit that would be the renovation of the heritage buildings where 21st century facilities would have to be shoehorned into 19th century spaces. The only result I can see from this approach would be a real half-arsed job that no-one would benefit from.

Building a new hospital solves all of the problems - we can have world-class 21st century facilities in a purpose-built building, no corners cut, no compromises - which will remain fit for purpose for decades instead of a few years. Plus, we'll have the added benefits of having a consolidated medical precinct within the city - treatment, research and teaching all in one place - and we'll suffer no impact to hospital services or capacity during the construction period.

I can't think of any practical benefits to renovating the existing site - it *might* save money in the short term (but might not) but will almost definitely end up costing more in the long term. Just like the Southern Expressway. Do it right first time or pay more in the long term...

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Re: SA builds world's most expensive hospital

#10 Post by stumpjumper » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:18 pm

You may well be right. My point was that AFAIK no proper cost benefit analysis comparing the refit of the old RAH versus new construction was carried out.


The comparison is a complex business. Renovation of large, old hospitals is certainly possible - look at Guy's & St Thomas hospital in London for a recent example. There's extensive material on the issues on facilities management sites on the net.

My point as I said was that politics compelled the new construction without a thorough analysis of the alternatives. As a matter of governance, that is not a sound way to go.

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Re: SA builds world's most expensive hospital

#11 Post by Ho Really » Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:49 pm

And getting even more expensive...

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Re: SA builds world's most expensive hospital

#12 Post by Brucetiki » Fri Nov 27, 2015 6:23 pm

Llessur2002 wrote:
Will wrote:Renovating the current RAH site would have been a further example of SA doing things half-arsed. It would have resulted in waves of people screaming of how backwards the thinking in our state is. I find it bizarre, how people whinge when we as a state do things half-arsed, yet also whinge when we do them right. We can't win.
Fully agree - much of the current RAH site consists of buildings at or beyond the end of their design life which would either have resulted in a shoddy patch-up job that would need further extensive work in 10 years or complete demolition and rebuilding - with an associated massive impact on hospital capacity during the works. Then there's the money pit that would be the renovation of the heritage buildings where 21st century facilities would have to be shoehorned into 19th century spaces. The only result I can see from this approach would be a real half-arsed job that no-one would benefit from.

Building a new hospital solves all of the problems - we can have world-class 21st century facilities in a purpose-built building, no corners cut, no compromises - which will remain fit for purpose for decades instead of a few years. Plus, we'll have the added benefits of having a consolidated medical precinct within the city - treatment, research and teaching all in one place - and we'll suffer no impact to hospital services or capacity during the construction period.

I can't think of any practical benefits to renovating the existing site - it *might* save money in the short term (but might not) but will almost definitely end up costing more in the long term. Just like the Southern Expressway. Do it right first time or pay more in the long term...
Agree with this - I'd go as far as to say any doctor that was part of that Save the RAH group should be struck off as a doctor. If they can't see how dilapidated and beyond repair the current RAH is then they shouldn't be practicing medicine - period.

The current RAH is a complete and utter mess, and that's before you have the hygiene issues like faeces being left on public toilet floors for in excess of 24 hours.

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Re: SA builds world's most expensive hospital

#13 Post by monotonehell » Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:07 am

That Save the RAH group was a huge astroturfing effort. No doubt there were many people who had honest convictions about it, but it had way too much money for a grassroots organisation. They even had a CBD office for some time.
Exit on the right in the direction of travel.

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Re: SA builds world's most expensive hospital

#14 Post by stumpjumper » Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:03 am

Apart from poor project management, the NRAH project is causing other problems. As a unionised site, wages there are so high it is difficult to find some trades at present. Recently, I was looking for a team of cabinetmakers to build some commercial cabinetry. It was hard going. I heard numerous stories of guys leaving established firms to work on the 'finish the work at all costs' job at the NRAH, where there is very serious money available as unions demand huge wages from the under pressure builders.

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Re: SA builds world's most expensive hospital

#15 Post by Dog » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:25 pm

stumpjumper wrote:Apart from poor project management, the NRAH project is causing other problems. As a unionised site, wages there are so high it is difficult to find some trades at present. Recently, I was looking for a team of cabinetmakers to build some commercial cabinetry. It was hard going. I heard numerous stories of guys leaving established firms to work on the 'finish the work at all costs' job at the NRAH, where there is very serious money available as unions demand huge wages from the under pressure builders.
Should be able to get one of those cheap uionionise chippy’s now the hospital is finished stumpy

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