The Overdale site
Jersey needs a General Hospital that is fit for purpose and able to tend to the health requirements of Islanders. What Jersey does not need is a project that will saddle our hardworking taxpayers with years of debt and increased taxation demands.
If we wind back to 2010-2011, the push for a “new” hospital was to avoid the more costly approach of continual improvement to our existing General Hospital. Delays and indecision since then has meant we would not only be incurring nearly double the costs of building a new hospital but incurring the costs of keeping the existing site running. The implications are alarming:
There are mounting questions as to the current government’s decision-making process in this saga.
The existing hospital will require many tens of millions of pounds worth of repairs and upgrades notwithstanding the prospect of a new hospital at Overdale.
Your hard-earned tax, taken by the current Government to pay for the repairs at the existing hospital, will be thrown away once the new hospital is commissioned.
The proposed Overdale Hospital will change the island’s skyline forever.
The planning and road access issues are still not resolved.
Borrowing for this project will decrease our country’s credit rating
The Island’s “cost of borrowing” will increase.
The Project costs will almost certainly require an increase in tax.
The actual Overdale build costs will, in all likelihood, greatly exceed the billion-pound price tag suggested by the current government.
These are but a few of the concerns and issues. Other questions include whether we really want to decant the current Overdale facilities to Les Quennevais? Do we all want to have to pay to park in a new multi-storey hospital car park? Do we want to have to relocate The Crematorium?
The Progress Party is concerned this project will end up a painful reminder to generations to come that the unaccountable, indecisive Government of 2021 made a huge environmental and costly mistake at the expense of Islanders. The two current elected members of the party namely Senator Steve Pallett and Deputy Steve Luce have not supported any element of the Overdale project on this basis.
Tens of millions of pounds of hard-working taxpayer’s money has already been wasted. Many more millions will be wasted to keep the present hospital running until the new hospital project is complete. It is the wrong time to make a commitment of this magnitude, especially leading up to elections.
Sometimes there is a need to take a very long look at what is in front of you and have the wisdom and strength of office to accept that one has made a mistake, something this government is clearly incapable of. Clearly, we need upgraded facilities, we need a hospital fit for purpose, but do we need to build a billion pound hospital at Overdale with all the implications that come with it? Do we want a hospital at the top of a steep hill that Islanders will find really difficult to access?
The Progress Party does not and will not support the Overdale Hospital project.
The Progress Party returning enough successful Candidates in the 2022 General Election to be a party with power, (and even if the Planning Department has granted Planning and Building permissions) will overturn the decision to build the General Hospital at Overdale. We will refurbish and/or build (where necessary) a new General Hospital at the existing site.
How will we achieve this?
We will adopt the revised scheme based on that published on 12 March 2018 to refurbish the General Hospital on its existing footprint and, where necessary, build on land in the immediate vicinity.