13 C
Byron Shire
July 14, 2024

Ballina Hospital upgrade about to start

Latest News

While Hamas exists, Palestine will never be free

In response to David Heilpern’s article regarding antisemitism and Israel, (Echo, July 3) it is probably generally agreed that...

Other News

Losing town water access

I grew up and live in Mullumbimby, and I know locals have a strong opinion about the Byron Shire...

Getting the word out on wildlife

The Young and Wild project by young women and run by Byron Youth Service (BYS) has produced wildlife stickers and murals, all to raise awareness of the plight of our native animals.

Policy ambition, age and conservatives 

The sad state of conservative politics has again dominated the world stage this week, with the Tory wipeout in the UK, and a chaotic result in the French elections, reducing President Macron’s Centralist Alliance to 168 seats in the 577-seat parliament. 

Tweed farmers encouraged to apply for $4,000 funding

Tweed Shire Council is once again offering the Sustainable Agriculture Small Grants Program, designed to encourage best practice and inspire environmental creativity in agricultural activities across our community.

72 house-raises and retrofits announced  

Seventy-two homeowners in the Ballina electorate will receive government funding to raise and retrofit their flood-affected homes, says local NSW Greens MP, Tamara Smith. 

AMBER ALERT: Missing Children, Paradise Point

The Queensland Police Service is seeking urgent public assistance to help locate a 3-year-old girl, 5-year-old boy and 6-year-old boy who went missing from Victor Avenue in Paradise Point at 4pm yesterday, who may be at significant risk.

Ballina Hospital, built in the 1970s under the Whitlam RED scheme, is undergoing a$7.35 million upgrade. File photo

Ballina Hospital patients are set to benefit from a new, state-of-the-art operating theatre complex and medical imaging upgrades under a $7.35 million redevelopment, the government says.

But the move comes amidst concern that Byron Central Hospital still lacks operating facilities and an attempt to induce a private firm to stump up the cash for a theatre there has failed.

The upgrades are not before time either: as Echonetdaily revealed in an exclusive report, the hospital’s cramped waiting room was crowded to capacity on New Year’s Day 2017, with some patients having to wait up to six hours to be seen and others lying on the floor and the concrete path outside.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Northern NSW Parliamentary Secretary Ben Franklin have announced the start of demolition works for Stage 2 of the redevelopment, which has been jointly funded by the commonwealth and state governments.

‘Modern facilities are key to ensuring our clinicians and hospital staff can continue to provide the high-quality health care that our local communities deserve,’ Mr Franklin said.

Significant redevelopment

‘Stage 2 of this significant redevelopment will pave the way for upgrades to surgical services at Ballina District Hospital, with a new operating theatre and a new recovery area,’ he added.

Mr Hazzard said the Northern NSW the building program was just part of ‘several new and expanded health services either completed or near completion’.

‘This significant upgrade for Ballina District Hospital comes on top of the investment of more than $320 million in the Lismore Base Hospital redevelopment, with the project right on schedule to deliver brand new equipment for central sterilisation services to support the fantastic, new theatre complex at Lismore’ Mr Hazzard said.

But there are concerns that the new Byron Central Hospital appears to be missing out, with the Health Services Union last week accusing the state government of ‘pursuing privatisation by stealth’ by seeking to contract out management of its yet-to-be-built operating theatres to a private company.

But Northern NSW Health District chief executive, Wayne Jones, told Echonetdaily a recent tender process inviting expressions of interest by private providers to provide day surgery had failed to provide any ‘compliant submissions’.

Construction program

Construction will soon begin on new back-of-house services at Ballina, including a loading dock and storage space (including space for biomedical equipment testing), plant room, maintenance office and workshop, and a new medical records department.

The full scope of works for the Ballina District Hospital, to be completed by late 2018, also includes stores and utilities, IT and office spaces and staff amenities.

Stage 1 was completed in early 2017, with significant medical imaging upgrades, including a new CT scanner and ultrasound services.



Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

A self-hating Jew

A self-hating Jew means ‘antisemite’. David Heilpern’s 3 July article was underpinned with lies, and hateful sentiments toward one group of Australians: the Jewish...

Losing town water access

I grew up and live in Mullumbimby, and I know locals have a strong opinion about the Byron Shire Council. I had always given...

Lavertys Gap history

The Lavertys Gap hydro power station was installed in 1919. In 1939, during the Great Depression, people had no money, and Council decided to...

Electricity lines clipped and lines come down in Lismore

Police have confirmed that a truck clipped powerlines today on Dawson Street, Lismore.