Tuesday, 20 June 2017
THE Inverell community will wait no longer for its brand new hospital, with today’s 2017-18 NSW Budget delivering a $30 million guarantee to start and complete the long-anticipated hospital redevelopment.
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said he was delighted with today’s news, which exceeded his expectations.
“The community and I had been lobbying the government for the first tranche of the $30 million to begin construction, but to see $5 million in capital immediately and the entire amount locked in is a brilliant surprise and will ensure the future of this critical project,” Mr Marshall said.
“Today is an incredible victory for the people and community of Inverell and I want to thank them for their strong advocacy and support of this project for many years.Construction can now progress with certainty.
“The redevelopment will provide vastly upgraded medical facilities that will provide more services than ever before – and, with ample room to expand, will grow with the Inverell community.
“The incredible campaign they spearheaded for over a decade has been a vital part of my case to the state government.”
Around 80 per cent of the redeveloped hospital would be in a new building, Mr Marshall said, which was significantly more than the Armidale Hospital.
“The planning team have stretched every last cent of the $30 million – I know the community will be very impressed with the final product,” Mr Marshall said.
“This will be the pinnacle for healthcare in the region and greatly improve the delivery of health services for locals. It will mean that those close to Inverell won’t find themselves having to travel for essential services.”
Mr Marshall said the upgrade was about more than just providing cutting edge health services to residents in Inverell.
“This major upgrade goes beyond mere bricks and mortar – it will help the rapidly growing town of Inverell attract the specialist doctors it deserves and reaffirms that residents of regional areas aren’t treated like second class citizens.
“I’m determined to see this project move ahead as soon as possible, with calling for tenders to hopefully begin construction before the end of the year.”
The redevelopment includes a brand new building which will contain:
- New Emergency Department including emergency care for children and mental health-related presentations;
- New Inpatient Unit including:
- Paediatric facilities,
- New maternity and birthing facilities,
- General adult services including palliative care
- Medical imaging (including identified future expansion zone);
- Two operating theatres and associated sterilising unit;
- Day Surgery Unit;
- New and increased renal dialysis unit;
- Main entry and admissions area; and
Mr Marshall said that the imminent construction would have far-reaching benefits.
“Whether you live at Deepwater or Delungra, this redevelopment will mean you’ll have access to world-class medical facilities with significantly less travel time than ever before. In addition, these upgrades mean Inverell residents won’t need to leave for many services, reducing the burden on the region’s other hospitals,” he said.
“In April we saw a major boost to staffing levels at Inverell’s Hospital and GP clinic. This investment will ensure our dedicated staff are working in the best possible facilities.
“We’ll be able to co-locate private medical imaging providers within the hospital, ensuring patients won’t need to travel. We will have additional security for staff dealing with drug-affected patients and upgraded maternity wards. There will even be space for a blood donation centre, if there’s demand for it. None of this is possible with Inverell’s current ageing infrastructure.
“For a decade, Inverell has been demanding a new hospital that recognises their enviable position as fastest growing town in the region. Now they’ve got it.
“This is an incredible project – and I can’t wait to join the community in turning the first sod very soon.”