The NSW government has promised $180 million to finish the upgrade of the Lismore Base Hospital, and $120,000 to increase car parking at the Murwillumbah hospital.
The funding is contingent on the Liberal/Nationals coalition being re-elected.
NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner toured the region yesterday with Lismore MP Thomas George and Deputy Premier Troy Grant.
Ms Skinner said the $180 million would complete stage three of the Lismore hospital’s redevelopment, providing new operating theatres, in-patient and paediatric beds, medical imaging and other clinical facilities..
Work valued at $80 million is already underway, and will deliver a new emergency department that is three times bigger than the existing facility, which the health minister said was ‘one of the most difficult I’d seen in the state’.
That work is expected to be completed next year, with the remaining stage taking another three years to deliver.
Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Chris Crawford said the redevelopment would involve the construction of an 11-storey tower featuring a helipad on the roof, along with new operating theatres and wards.
Most of A Block, the oldest part of the hospital, would be demolished to make way for the new works.
After making the announcement in Lismore, the trio turned their focus to Murwillumbah, announcing the $120,000 investment that would increase the car park by 40 spaces.
Health Minister Jillian Skinner said the Liberals & Nationals Government is getting on with the job of improving health services for rural and regional communities.
‘Nearly every patient survey identifies the lack of parking as a major issue and the Baird Government is getting on with the job of fixing this problem for patients, staff and visitors at Murwillumbah Hospital,” Mrs Skinner said.
‘This funding complements the $1.7 million invested by the Liberals & Nationals Government to upgrade Murwillumbah Hospital’s emergency department, which has made a huge difference to the experience of patients and staff.’
Mr George welcomed the funding saying parking has been a concern for local patients and their loved ones.
‘I’ve been advocating for an improvement to car parking at Murwillumbah Hospital for some time and I’m pleased the Liberals and Nationals Government is improving this service for my local community, he said.