District hospitals await minister's decision on fees

THE SA Regional Organisation of Councils is awaiting a response from Health Minister Jack Snelling on having development fees waived for district hospitals.

The SAROC meeting on January 30 resolved that it write to the minister asking that the government contribute in kind to all upgrades funded by community donations through the absorption of any associated management fees.

Currently the State Government is charging a fee of up to 12 per cent to manage capital upgrades to State Government owned facilities.

This fee is charged by the State Government agency responsible for building management, the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.

The recently released SAROC agenda detailed there had been vast community angst about the charge which takes vital amounts from community raised funds.

Tatiara District Council mayor and SE Local Government Association president Richard Vickery said SAROC felt the charge was an "insult to communities that donate money".

"Hospitals are paying for things that government is not paying for like equipment, and are being slugged this fee," Mr Vickery said. 

"District hospitals have always undertaken considerable fundraising efforts - like the Bordertown Bugs riding group at the Murray to Moyne - so that they can facilitate the purchase of equipment that wouldn't otherwise be available to the hospital through normal government funding.

"When they (Health Advisory Councils) go to spend the money, there will be a 12 per cent fee, so effectively you can only do 88 per cent of as much as you anticipated.

"Currently the only way to avoid this slug is that health advisory councils elect to independently manage the projects rather than DPTI.

SAROC said the matter had been raised by the LGA directly with the executive director of the DPTI who is responsible for building management.

"Unfortunately the following response was received that continues to fail to address the matter," the report said"Across government minor works building projects up to $150,000 are managed by the DPTI under the across government facilities management arrangements.

"All construction projects whether undertaken by the private or public sector, incur management fees. "If a project is undertaken under the AGFMA, fees charged range between 8.5-12 per cent.

"Any government agencies, including health advisory councils, that have raised funds from the community or other non-government sources, can elect to either independently manage the project or have it managed under the AGFMA."

WAVE: Tatiara District Council mayor and South East Local Government Association member Richard Vickery in front of the affected Bordertown Memorial Hospital recently.

WAVE: Tatiara District Council mayor and South East Local Government Association member Richard Vickery in front of the affected Bordertown Memorial Hospital recently.

This story District hospitals await minister's decision on fees first appeared on Border Chronicle.