Health Minister Jillian Skinner, Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce and Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson officially opened Tamworth Hospital.
Celebrating the occasion with hospital staff, volunteers and community members, Mrs Skinner said she was grateful for the incredible effort that went into planning and constructing the new facility over the last five years.
“Tamworth Hospital was one of the NSW Government’s first major regional health commitments when I became Minister. We understood the significance, need and value of the project for the region,” Mrs Skinner said.
“I couldn’t be prouder to deliver on our promise and see the final result: a spacious, modern hospital that will provide sophisticated medical services for the New England North West region for years to come.”
The new acute services building provides a central hub for medical and surgical services, including the emergency department, intensive care unit, high dependency unit, operating theatres, day surgery and recovery. It also includes medical imaging, the maternity unit, birthing suite and special care nursery, the children’s ward and the medical, surgical and palliative care wards.
Mr Joyce said it is clear hospital staff, with the guidance of the redevelopment planning team, worked hard to ensure the new services provide functional yet comfortable environments for patient care.
“The community deserves this hospital and I congratulate staff and those involved during the construction phase for delivering it to them,” Mr Joyce said.
“With the new hospital, Tamworth will continue attracting highly-skilled medical professionals to the region to provide for our growing population.”
Mr Anderson said the community is now receiving care in one of the most modern hospitals in NSW - a commitment he is proud to deliver.
“In March 2011, the Minister and I stood in front of the hospital and signed a pledge to the community that we would fund this redevelopment. We made good on that promise and, with the Commonwealth’s contribution of $120 million, we made this new hospital a reality,” Mr Anderson said.
While today’s celebrations focus on the new hospital building, the final stage of the redevelopment continues with works on the integrated outpatients centre.
All outpatient clinics will be conveniently located on the two lower levels of the former ward building. Clinics currently scattered across the hospital will be centralised, meaning less time driving, parking and walking for patients requiring multiple services.
Clinic patients will also have exclusive access to new car parking next year, with the former ambulance bays, temporary renal unit and mortuary building being removed to make way for a large, 52-space car park.
Construction is expected to be complete in mid-2016.
Tamworth Hospital construction facts:
- More than 63,800 tonnes of soil were moved to create the 13,088 square metre site for the new hospital building.
- More than 14,000 cubic metres of concrete was used in the new building - enough to fill nearly six Olympic swimming pools.
- It took more than 570,000 man hours to construct the new hospital building.
Since becoming operational in July, more than 21,000 patients have presented to the emergency department or been admitted to the new hospital.
The Tamworth Hospital redevelopment was jointly funded, with the Commonwealth providing $120 million under the Health and Hospitals Fund and the NSW Government contributing $91 million.