Taskforce to review Royal Hobart Hospital

DELAYING the Royal Hobart Hospital development by six months "is the only option" to get the troubled project back on track, according to the state's Heath Minister Michael Ferguson.

There is still no certainty about the redevelopment's future after Mr Ferguson announced a $1million taskforce would be established to review the project.

Australian Medical Association Tasmania president Tim Greenaway said the delay was regrettable, and called for senior clinicians to be on the taskforce.

Mr Ferguson defended the delay, telling Parliament the development could end up more than $70 million over budget.

"No responsible government would proceed," Mr Ferguson said.

"On top of that, there are increasing recurrent operating costs into the future which have not been factored into the forward estimates."

Mr Ferguson said the federal government would not attempt to "claw back" funds for the project and was supportive of the delay.

"The federal government are on board with what we're doing because they've recognised the project is seriously deficient," Mr Ferguson said.

Work on the development will continue after the taskforce reports to government in six months' time.

Mr Ferguson denied the taskforce would be instructed to redesign a scaled-down development.

"This is not about scaling up or scaling down," he said.

The six-month hold-up follows a recommendation from a report on the delivery of Tasmanian health services released on Saturday.

Dr Greenaway said AMA Tasmania regretted the "apparent emphasis" placed on the recommendation.

Opposition Leader Bryan Green said it was now over to the government to manage the project.

"It seems to me the minister is setting himself up to be in a position to reduce the size of the hospital," Mr Green said.


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