Jersey's new multi-site hospital is 'highly unlikely' to cost less than the £800 million one that had been planned for Overdale.
Infrastructure Minister Deputy Tom Binet has confirmed that is the case during a period of intense questioning in the States chamber.
"This is going to be a different scheme covering an extra 30,000 square metres of development. It is going to take into account the many things that the Our Hospital project didn't.
It's going to be developed over a nine year period, and on the basis that we have been for some time in a period of double-digit inflation, I think it is highly unlikely it is going to come in below the sum that was pencilled in at a very early stage for the Our Hospital project."
When Ministers announced last month how services should be split, they repeatedly avoided being drawn on the expected cost of their project.
They want an inpatient hospital at Overdale by 2028 and outpatients at Kensington Place, with a health village in St Saviour.
Deputy Kristina Moore's government announced in November 2022 - following a review as part of its 100 day action plan - that it was scrapping previous plans for an £800m+ single site hospital at Overdale because it was unaffordable.
No costs have yet been given for the new Healthcare Facilities Programme, nor any firm indication of when they would be made public.
The Chief Minister said it was commercially-sensitive information:
In the States earlier. Deputy Montfort Tadier asked the Infrastructure Minister if the real reason was that Ministers didn't know what that sum is.
Deputy Binet insisted it was 'early in proceedings' and that he 'works in a very transparent way':
"I am quite happy to share whatever information is available as and when it is suitably available, and at this point in time I am not sufficiently comfortable that we are accurate enough to release those figures."
Pressed further for a timescale, he said:
"I can't pin down a precise date. All I can confirm is that the team is working extremely diligently to progress matters as quickly as they possibly can."
Deputy Sam Mezec asked him to confirm if the accurate costings - when they could be produced - would be lower than the abandoned previous scheme.
When the Minister said that would be 'highly unlikely' Deputy Mezec asked if that was 'finally an admission' it would be more expensive.
Deputy Binet said:
"I can't accept the term 'finally an admission'. It's been plain for sometime that we're going to provide a full range of facilities which are going to cover an extra 30,000 square metres, and it's going to provide all the things that the Our Hospital project didn't - they are not like for like comparisons."