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Additional beds allocated across NSW public hospitals

29 November, 2007

NSW Minister for Health, Reba Meagher, has confirmed the allocation of 250 acute hospital beds announced by the Iemma Government.

Meagher said the new $30 million package announced last week will add 150 acute beds to ease the pressure on the busiest emergency departments by putting more beds and more doctors where they are most needed.

“This is on top of the additional beds announced in the 2007-08 budget and means we’re increasing the number of acute beds in our public hospitals by 250 this year,” Meagher said.

“On Friday I met with the Emergency Care Taskforce to discuss the detail of this package and ensure the additional beds are opened at hospitals with the greatest need.

“When I re-established the Emergency Care Taskforce six weeks ago I acknowledged that there had been difficulties in the relationship between emergency department physicians and the Department of Health.

“I am pleased that we have been able to work through those issues and re-engage physicians so that we are all working together to make improvements to the health system. And I thank the members of the Emergency Care Taskforce who have given their time and expertise to this important task.”

Meagher said allocation of the hospital beds recognised those hospitals which have experienced the greatest growth in demand through their emergency departments:

Bankstown - 10
Campbelltown - 20
Canterbury - 8
Concord - 8
Gosford -10
John Hunter -15
Liverpool -15
Nepean - 18
Prince of Wales - 8
Royal North Shore - 12 
Royal Prince Alfred - 15
St George - 15
St Vincent's -10
Sutherland - 7
Tweed - 30
Westmead - 15
Wollongong - 22
Wyong - 8
Children's Hospital at Westmead - 4

“Allocating these hospital beds is an important step in relieving the pressure on some of our busiest hospitals,” Meagher said.

“The next step is to look at the placement of the additional emergency department Staff Specialists across hospitals in the greater metropolitan area,” Meagher said.

“I have also asked the Director General of Health to undertake a detailed examination staffing levels in rural and regional emergency departments.”

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