Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital faces funding crisis

A general surgical ward at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital remains closed after funding negotiations between the hospital and the NSW Health department broke down, causing the government to send in an auditor to study the hospital's accounts.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the funding crisis at the hospital is so serious that it has not reopened a general surgical ward shut down over the Christmas-New Year holiday period, resulting in elective surgery cancellations and leaving up to 30 beds empty.

According to the Herald, the battle is over St Vincent's bid for an extra $12 million in annual funding in the face of a 59 per cent increase in ambulance presentations and a 27 per cent rise in emergency department presentations over the past two years.

It appears that much of the increase may be a result of the downgrading of services at Sydney Hospital and the diversion of trauma cases and other emergencies to St Vincent's as part of the Government's redistribution of clinical services, the Herald says.

Crisis talks between St Vincent's management and Government representatives ended late yesterday with no resolution, a hospital spokesman said, although he described discussions as constructive.

St Vincent's accounts come under scrutiny (Sydney Morning Herald, 23/2/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
St Vincent's Hospital Sydney

Sydney St Vincent's Hospital in planning controversy (CathNews, 22/11/06)
'Preferred partnership' between new nursing school and Sydney hospitals (CathNews, 1310/05)
St Vincent's to save embattled suburban hospital (CathNews, 28/6/04)

23 Feb 2007