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Hospital builders mucked around: SA govt

AAP logoAAP 26/08/2016

The South Australian government says it is "sick of being mucked around" by the builders of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital and is taking them to court.

SA Health Minister Jack Snelling says he still doesn't know when the new RAH, which was meant to be ready in April, will be finished by the SA Health Partnership (SAHP) consortium.

He says the government has lost patience with the builders after a series of delays and will ask the state's Supreme Court to enforce their contract, with the matter likely to be heard next week.

Mr Snelling expects to receive an estimated completion date from SAHP on Friday afternoon but has rejected their suggestion to move some patients into the hospital before it is finished.

"The position they've been trying to arrive at is one where we accept the hospital and start moving patients in and most importantly start paying for a hospital and some of the defects we leave to be fixed up after we've moved in. Now that's just not acceptable," he told reporters on Friday.

"We're sick of being mucked around by the consortium. We want to send an unambiguous message to SAHP that we will not be accepting a hospital that's anything other than first best."

SAHP says disputes on contracts of such size and complexity aren't unusual and the court action won't deter the group from its goals.

"The referral of a dispute to an independent mediator in no way detracts from SAHP's commitment to deliver a state-of-the-art hospital or its intention to work closely with the state government," chief executive Duncan Jewell said.

Mr Jewell said SAHP will hand the government a 500-page plan late on Friday afternoon demonstrating how the new RAH is substantially complete and outlining how the final works will be completed.

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