Team VIVA! were shocked to hear about the NSW Government’s plans to sell off sections of the Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) campus. VIVA! HQ is located in Chatswood, making RNSH our local hospital, should anything dire ever happen (touch wood). The idea that significant parcels of land are earmarked for sale has both shocked and saddened us, given that we work within the realm of health and wellness and appreciate the importance of open space for patient recovery.
While the planned upgrade to the RNSH buildings and services is commendable and urgently needed, it should not come at the expense of green space and the long-term health needs of NSW residents. Currently, the majority of the green space in the redevelopment plans will be hemmed in by privately owned, high-rise residential and commercial areas and squeezed in between public thoroughfares, which is hardly conducive to creating a feeling of openness and space.
Reducing the functional land area to just 5.3 hectares is completely inadequate for the effective operation of this major referral and teaching hospital that currently caters for 1.14 million Sydneysiders, one in five of the NSW population and one in 17 of the Australian population. As Australia’s population continues to grow and age, our health services will need the space to expand their infrastructure to meet the demands of our future population.
Apart from the planned sale of RNSH land, the redevelopment fails to meet the current and future bed shortfall and omits and impractically relocates services in the new hospital layout.
There are many other problems associated with the RNSH redevelopment, which you can read more about at save.RNSH.org. Team VIVA! urge you to read the information on the website, sign the petition to protect the future of our local hospital and spread the word about the plight of NSW residents’ long-term health.