Decisions about the future location of the University of Adelaide Medical School have reached a critical stage, Shadow Health Minister Rob Lucas said today.
“University representatives have advised me critical location and funding decisions will have to be made no later than August this year if it is to be completed in time for opening with the new Royal Adelaide Hospital in 2016,” Mr Lucas said.
“”The University believes that unless the Medical School is relocated near the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, South Australia will lose key medical staff and fail to attract world-class new staff to the school.
“There are more than 1,000 clinicians at the RAH who also hold honorary teaching positions with the University of Adelaide.
“This is yet another unbudgeted cost of the Labor Government’s decision to build the NRAH away from the existing RAH site.”
The University has detailed plans for a $290 million, 11 story, 24,000m2 new Medical School on land next to the North Terrace skate park.
However, key decisions need to be made by the State and Federal Government:
• All Medical Schools are substantially federally-funded so the Federal Government has to decide on funding requests.
• The consortium building the NRAH has development rights over the required land so the State Government has to resolve a dispute over compensation to be paid to the consortium.
• The top four stories of the proposed building are for the possible relocation of the Dental Hospital and Dental School and the State Government has to decide whether it supports this part of the project.
• The State Government needs to decide how much space within the NRAH is to be offered to the University – they were originally offered 5,000m2 but that has now been reduced to 2,000m2.
“Medical research and health sciences have been acknowledged as one of South Australia’s great education and economic strengths,” Mr Lucas said.
“South Australia’s future economic growth depends on maintaining and strengthening our state’s competitive advantages and we cannot afford decision-making which threatens our strengths in medical research and health sciences.
“This Government stands condemned for making a decision to build the NRAH without having considered and provided for the future of the Medical School.
“It is yet another example of the incompetence and financial mismanagement of the Weatherill Government.”