by Jeff Boyd

From ANN News Release, October 30, 2014

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has praised the Sydney Adventist Hospital as a place that shows Jesus’ love in a practical way and said state health providers should look to it as an example of how to spend money wisely.


Abbott spoke at a ceremony that opened a record U.S.$168 million expansion of the 111-year-old hospital, affectionately known by many Australians as “the San” in a nod to its former name, Sydney Sanitarium.


“This hospital is about providing the love of Christ in a practical way to people who need help,” Abbott told more than 500 guests on Oct. 17. “I salute your work, and I know you will do it even better in the months and years ahead as a result of these new facilities we open today.”


His remarks were echoed by Jillian Skinner, the top health official for the state of New South Wales, who applauded the hospital for providing “outstanding care to people across Sydney’s north shore, north west, Northern Beaches and Central Coast.”

As part of the opening ceremony, the prime minister, Skinner, and other dignitaries were given a tour of the recently opened LW Clark Tower, named after Adventist HealthCare chief executive Leon Clark.

The 12-story building, which serves as the centerpiece of San’s expansion project, brings the hospital's bed capacity up to 550. The new facility also features a modern maternity unit, state-of-the-art birthing suites, and space for up to 24 operating rooms.


The tour concluded with a walk through the San’s new purpose-built healing garden. The outdoor courtyard area is designed to help patients of the hospital’s new Integrated Cancer Center, which is still in development.


The hospital expansion was undertaken to meet a 50 percent increase in demand by 2024, when the hospital is expected to care for more than 300,000 patients a year.


Abbott said he was impressed that the hospital completed such a major expansion for 200 million Australian dollars.


“And can I say as I was looking at the briefing notes for today’s event, looking at all the things you were able to achieve, 12 new operating theaters, 200 new beds, additional car parking for something like 1,200 cars, all for $200 million? Extraordinary, extraordinary. $200 million of outstanding value,” he said. “I hope our public health planners are taking note because we need to get the best possible value from our health dollar and that is certainly what you do here.”


Read the full transcript of Prime Minister Abbott’s speech here.