Published: 06:00, 16 October 2019
A new super hospital in Canterbury would cost almost half-a-billion pounds to deliver, it has been revealed.
The NHS would need to spend £302 million kitting out the new-build, while developer Mark Quinn would cover the £140 million cost of constructing the hospital shell.
Meanwhile, the costs for instead enhancing services at the William Harvey and QEQM - while downgrading the Kent and Canterbury - will be significantly less at £225 million.
Both options are set to be scrutinised by health bosses after they go out for consultation, which is expected to be some time next year.
Ashford Borough Council's deputy leader Paul Bartlett believes the contrasting costs should help determine the much-anticipated decision.
"We are talking about a very considerable difference the two options," he said.
"One of the key determining factors is that there will not be endless capital to throw at the project.
"From a financial point of view, the Ashford and Margate option makes better sense.
"Firstly, it is much better to have two sites at either end of east Kent, which covers the area far better than Canterbury would, and then you have the cash element to think about as well."
But neither the K&C or the East Kent Hospitals Trust features on an official list of hospitals to receive capital funding over the next decade.
Despite being warmly welcomed by fellow Tories and hopeful campaigners, Rosie Duffield MP wants the Prime Minister to apologise for raising the hopes of city constituents.
Ms Duffield said: "I had hoped that this was a genuine announcement and that the prime minister had recognised the dire need for the fully-funded hospitals across east Kent.
"For the sake of my constituents, I would much rather have have my cynicism about this announcement proved wrong.
"However, it now appears that this 'announcement' is just the latest in a long line of gaffes and that, following a clarification from the DoH, the Prime Minster was indeed incorrect to say that Canterbury would be benefiting from a new hospital in this latest funding round.
"Frankly, I think he needs to retract his comments and apologise for raising hopes of patients and NHS staff in Canterbury like this."