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Byron Shire
January 18, 2022

Byron hospital opened – but not for patients

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Byron Central Hospital was officially opened on May 9 but it will be a few weeks yet before it accepts its first patient. Photo NNSW LHD
Byron Central Hospital was officially opened on May 9 but it will be a few weeks yet before it accepts its first patient. Photo NNSW LHD

Health minister Jillian Skinner and minister for mental health Pru Goward yesterday officially opened the $88 million Byron Central Hospital and mental health unit.

But it will be a few more weeks before the newly completed hospital, which is still in its final stages of testing, will see its first patient.

Mrs Skinner said Byron Central Hospital, located at Ewingsdale, will transform health care in the Byron Shire.

‘Hospital and ambulatory care patients will both be able to access expanded clinical and integrated services under one roof. The emergency department is now offering a higher level of emergency care than previously available in the district,’ Mrs Skinner said.

‘I thank the project team and Byron’s dedicated health professionals for delivering this long-awaited hospital to the community.

‘I particularly thank members of the local community whom I first met nearly 20 years ago when they were campaigning with then member for Ballina Don Page to secure a new hospital. Byron Central Hospital is testament to their persistence and determination to secure the facility the local community needs.’

Services include 24-hour emergency care in a state-of-the-art, 14-bay emergency department, low-risk maternity services, enhanced x-ray and medical imaging, increased cancer care and an on-site pharmacy. New modern and spacious rooms allow for future capacity for up to 43 beds in the inpatient ward.

The purpose-built facility will also provide expanded integrated services for ambulatory care clients, with community and allied health services including a dental service with four chairs, physiotherapy and a rehabilitation gym.

Ms Goward said the new 20-bed sub-acute mental health facility is a first for the Byron Shire.

‘Byron Shire now has a dedicated space to treat mental health inpatients which will add to services already available in the district. This unit will support step-up and step-down services ensuring people can live well in the community,’ Ms Goward said.

Hospital staff and community members have, however, protested that there are currently no plans for an operating theatre at the site and no provision for the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter to land.

The new hospital replaces the older, smaller hospitals in Byron Bay and Mullumbimby and community health centres in Bangalow, Brunswick Heads and Ocean Shores.


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  1. The Byron hospitals face must be red as the Hospital is now politically open waiting patiently as it was opened for the political moment by politicians for the political photo opportunity but now without any more patience the Hospital patiently awaits its first patient.
    Those patients with impatient legs are running, running to be the first patient as they just can’t wait but they will not be emitted for a couple of weeks. It makes us strong people all so healthy go all wobbly and feel a bit weak and want to be a patient.


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