The Dunedin Hospital SOS campaign says it is “extraordinary” that options for the hospital redevelopment have been formalised yet remain secret.
The Southern Partnership Group (SPG), which is overseeing the hospital redevelopment, announced last week it had finalised its preferred options for the project.
But the group cannot reveal what the options are because they are yet to go before Cabinet.
Responding to questions from The Star, SPG chairman Andrew Blair said the public would be able to view the indicative business case after Cabinet had made its decision in August.
Hospital SOS campaign spokesman and city councillor David Benson-Pope said it seemed “extraordinary” the SPG had formalised its preferred options for a project that was “crucial to the future of the city” but no-one was able to know what the options were until a decision had been made.
Cr Benson-Pope said the SOS campaign, led by the Dunedin City Council, had sent an Official Information Act request for a copy of the indicative business case.
He also expressed surprise at comments by the Ministry of Health in which it thanked Southern District Health Board patients and the “wider community” for their input into the business case.
“There was no opportunity that we’re aware of for the public to provide input into the business case.”
Mr Blair said the project was “not being done in isolation”.
There had been “extensive public consultation” through both the Southern Strategic Health Services Plan and “Southern Future commissioner listening sessions”, as well as “patient journey workshops” run by SDHB staff.
Staff were working on the detailed business case before any decisions were made on the indicative business case, but not on details for any specific preferred option, he said.
“We know we will need architects and health planners to design the facility, so we’re beginning work on procuring the services required regardless of which option is decided on.”
Following further queries from The Star, Mr Blair said there would be “more opportunities” for patient and SDHB Consumer Council input during the design phase.