NSW Premier Mike Baird and Health Minister Jillian Skinner today announced the NSW Government is getting on with the job of transforming rural health with a Lead Design Team appointed to plan the next stage of the Wagga Wagga Base Hospital redevelopment - the largest rural hospital upgrade in the state.
Mr Baird, Mrs Skinner, Mental Health Minister Jai Rowell and Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire today inspected progress on the $282 million redevelopment of Wagga Wagga Base Hospital and announced progress on the $400,000 commitment to plan stage three of the hospital upgrade.
“The complete redevelopment of Wagga Wagga Base Hospital is a priority for the NSW Government - we want this facility to meet the needs of the community well into the future,” Mr Baird said.
“The $282 million redevelopment of Wagga Wagga Hospital is taking shape, with construction workers on the ground and cranes in the sky.
“The NSW Government is committed to transforming the way we deliver health care, and bricks and mortar upgrades like this mammoth redevelopment at Wagga Wagga are vital.
“The importance of this redevelopment cannot be overstated. It truly will change the way health care is delivered to the Wagga Wagga community for years to come.
“As part of our commitment to transforming rural health we have announced today that Health Infrastructure has appointed the Lead Design Team to plan stage three of the hospital upgrade.
“The team comprises Billard Leece Partnership (architect), AECOM Australia Pty Ltd (project manager) and Slattery Australia Pty Ltd (cost manager).
“The planning process will involve consultation with local staff, clinicians and management to identify the key clinical priorities and will be finalised later this year.
“It’s anticipated the next stage will accommodate a new build to deliver ambulatory care and rehabilitation services, as well as an educational facility for staff training and development.
“Our commitment to rural health cannot be clearer – the NSW Government is redeveloping rural and regional hospitals across the state to ensure patients receive first-class care in first-class facilities.
“Hospital upgrades are pushing ahead in regional NSW at Tamworth ($220 million redevelopment), Port Macquarie ($110 million redevelopment), Dubbo ($91 million redevelopment), Lismore ($80 million redevelopment), Kempsey ($80 million redevelopment),
Parkes ($72 million development), Forbes ($40.9 million redevelopment) and Bega ($171 million development).
“The work being done here is impressive and much-needed and I’m pleased Wagga Wagga has hosted my first hospital visit as Premier,” Mr Baird said.
Mrs Skinner said the redevelopment of Wagga Wagga Base Hospital has been a priority for the NSW Government.
“This is the biggest rural hospital upgrade in NSW – we heard the community and now we are delivering.
“Each milestone reached is testament to the commitment and determination of staff here who have fought so long for a better facility.
“The concrete is being poured and the foundations are being built - the new hospital will be an incredible facility and one Wagga Wagga can be proud of.”
While in Wagga Wagga, Mr Baird, Ms Skinner and Mr Rowell visited the hospital’s new mental health unit.
“It is with great pride I have been appointed to the role of Mental Health Minister,” Mr Rowell said.
“The new facility at Wagga Wagga is a wonderful example of the vital work being done in this field.
“Ensuring rural communities have enhanced access to mental health support and facilities is crucial and I’m pleased the NSW Government has delivered this for the people of the Riverina.”
Mr Maguire welcomed the Premier’s visit, saying it signifies the vital role Wagga Wagga plays in the delivery of quality rural health care.
“It is wonderful the Premier has been able to see the great work being done at Wagga Wagga for himself today,” Mr Maguire said.
“The people of Wagga Wagga can be proud we have hosted the Premier’s first rural visit.
“The NSW Government is investing in the future of health care for our community and more milestones are being reached every day on this huge project.”
The new Wagga Wagga Base Hospital will deliver an enhanced emergency department, operating theatres, women’s and children’s replacement inpatient units, new intensive care and high dependency units, angiography suites, additional inpatient beds and a rooftop helipad.
The $282.1 million redevelopment is a jointly funded project, with the NSW Government providing $215 million and the Australian Government contributing $55.1 million from its Health and Hospitals Fund (HHF) Program. A further $12 million has been allocated from the Australian Government under the National Partnership Agreement, Improving Public Hospital Services for 20 sub-acute mental health beds.