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NSW: Green light given for five major hospital upgrades

20 February, 2007

Planning approval has been given for five major hospital redevelopments as part of a record $2 billion, four-year health infrastructure improvement program, Premier Morris Iemma has announced.

Iemma made the announcement at Westmead Hospital with Planning Minister Frank Sartor, Member for Parramatta, Tanya Gadiel, and ALP candidate for Toongabbie, Nathan Rees, after meeting a group of new school nurse-trainees.

"We have given these major hospital upgrades the planning 'green light' as part of an historic upgrade to health infrastructure right across NSW," he said.

"We are completely rebuilding Auburn and Queanbeyan Hospitals, undertaking a massive redevelopment of Liverpool Hospital, and constructing a major new mental health facility at Lismore.

"These projects are part of a record infrastructure investment across the State totalling $27 million a day.

"There's more work to do upgrading our hospitals, but in just 18 months we've made real progress.

"The planning approvals announced help map out our new direction for improving health services."

The NSW Health projects are:

A $390 million concept plan for the first phase of Stage 2 of a major redevelopment of Liverpool Hospital, involving 644 acute overnight beds, 51 day beds, critical care, maternity, paediatrics and cancer services as well as renal dialysis, medical imaging and pathology services, and a Psychiatric Emergency Care Centre.
- Construction of a new $145 million Auburn Hospital, expanding capacity to 184 beds in Stage 1 and providing new birthing options, more endoscopy procedures, general, speciality and day surgery and enhanced paediatric medicine networking.
- Construction of a $51 million hospital at Queanbeyan accommodating 60 beds, emergency services, surgical services, a birthing suite and three new operating procedure rooms.
- Stage 1 of a new medical research hub at Royal North Shore Hospital, the first step in a record $702 million redevelopment of the site. The building will provide new training and education facilities for nursing and medical students and a state-of-the-art home for leading medical research groups.
- A new $38.5 million mental health facility at Lismore Base Hospital providing inpatient services for up to 40 adults and a new purpose-built Child & Adolescent inpatient unit.

"This financial year we are investing $633 million to redevelop, upgrade and refurbish public hospitals and health facilities across NSW.

"It's part of a massive investment in health infrastructure to give the people of NSW redeveloped and upgraded hospitals, along with state-of-the-art medical equipment."

Sartor said the projects would deliver improved services for communities right across the State.

"These proposals have undergone a thorough assessment and are subject to a number of conditions to address traffic, access and other relevant planning issues," he said.

"Planning approval for these vital projects will help achieve a major goal of the Iemma Government's State Plan, by improving patients' access to quality healthcare.

"Our doctors and nurses are working hard on the frontline of the health system and these upgrades will help ensure their facilities are first-rate."