Let’s assume a hypothetical situation:
If you led a state government and there was some idle governmental land within close range of a handful of private hospitals as well as an overcrowded public/general hospital, what would you do with that land?
- Leave the land idle and let it appreciate in value.
- Enter into negotiations to sell the land to the nearest private hospital so that it can expand its facilities to cater to more medical tourists, better-off local patients and those who can afford private medical insurance or who are covered by their employers.
- Hold an open tender to get the highest price for the land. The bidders could include private hospitals, hoteliers and property developers.
- Offer the land at minimal price to the federal government, which runs the public hospital, so that it can expand and spread out its overcrowded facilities for the comfort of those who are unable to afford private medical treatment or medical insurance.
- Use the land for the common good: a public park and genuinely affordable housing (perhaps for rental) for those who work in the services industry eg staff working in the nearby hospitals, hotels and shopping complexes. Perhaps encourage a community organic garden on some part of land as well. All this, properly planned at an appropriate density, without disrupting the peace of the neighbouring community.
From a neoliberal economic angle, maybe items 2 and 3 would be attractive options, never mind the conditions at the nearby general hospital. And from a purely ‘good governance’ point of view, option 3 would be better than option 2. Perhaps the money raised from the sale could then be used for social amenities including ‘affordable housing’ further away from town (but then such housing would also be further away from where a lot of the jobs in town are).
On the other hand, if you really had the interest of the B40 and much of the M40 at heart, options 4 and 5 would be what you would think of straight away, taking into account the interests of the existing residents living near the land.
Your thoughts, please.