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Blog: Will we ever get a new hospital?

One vision of the new hospital

It's been years since the then Health Minister Anne Pryke unveiled her grand plans for a new hospital. Since then she's been shifted out of the job and a new Health Minister in the guise of Andrew Green has taken the reins. He's also causing controversy.

When People's Park was short-listed with four other sites for a new hospital there was an outcry and a public protest. Cue a swift re-think. And just when you thought we'd reached the end of this twisted tale, a curve-ball from a parish Constable who's, in effect, set himself up as a one-man opposition to plans for a rebuild on the current site.

Chris Taylor reckons it would be cheaper and faster to build it on the Waterfront and he's quit his job on a Scrutiny panel so he can speak out and force a whole new debate.

You can almost hear the groans in some quarters at the thought of yet another debate on where to stick it, but with the £50million saving he argues the Waterfront would provide, it's not the sort of money to be sniffed at in these tight financial times.

What the hospital could look like...

So what happens now? Well, on 30 November the States will debate whether or not to add the Waterfront to the current shortlist of just one site. Then, either the one or two sites will be fully investigated before the States gets a final vote on its preferred site next July.

Building work should begin in 2019, and the new hospital should open in 2023 (or 2021 if the Waterfront wins the day).

The other elephant in the room is how this all gets paid for. Health have already rung up a £23million just to get to this point, without a brick being laid.

The £463million project is likely to be funded through a mix of government loans and a new Hospital Tax. And you can just imagine how that'll go down.

So, as of tonight, we have a new hospital without a home. We have a government needing to find a stack of cash to pay for it. And we have islanders left wondering why - yet again - the States of Jersey is proving itself a class act at going about things the hard way!