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New Muswellbrook Emergency Department Officially Open

Member for Upper Hunter, The Hon. George Souris, MP, joined Muswellbrook Hospital staff and community members to officially open the new $6.5 million Muswellbrook Hospital Emergency Department.

Mr Souris toured the emergency department with local health staff before joining HNE Health Chief Executive Michael DiRienzo and BHP Billiton NSW Energy Coal Acting Asset President Mark van den Heuvel to cut the ribbon.

“This is a very real example of how the Muswellbrook region is benefiting from a combination of government and industry funding through Resources for Regions and the BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities,” Mr Souris said.

“This is an excellent facility and it’s obvious that considerable time and energy has been invested to ensure our new emergency department meets the needs of our community and the 7900 patients who receive care at the emergency department each year,” Mr Souris said.

The new emergency department provides:

  • New waiting area complete with outdoor courtyard
  • Additional beds, including  a paediatric treatment area
  • A two-bed resuscitation bay for critically unwell patients
  • Consult rooms and procedure/plaster room
  • Assessment room for patients who are experiencing mental health issues
  • A private room for women experiencing difficulties in early pregnancy
  • A room to accommodate patients with infectious respiratory illnesses
  • Pathology and pharmacy spaces

Importantly, the new emergency department will also incorporate the latest digital and telehealth technology that will link Muswellbrook with specialists and clinicians at other hospitals, such as John Hunter Hospital or Maitland Hospital, who can provide real-time specialist healthcare, advice and assistance to staff treating critically ill patients.

The new emergency department was made possible thanks to a unique partnership between Hunter New England Health and BHP Billiton, with the NSW Government providing $4 million from the Restart NSW – Resources for Regions program and BHP Billiton contributing $2.5 million through BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities, a charity established as part of its community investment program.

NSW Energy Coal Acting Asset President Mark van den Heuvel said contributing to the community’s health and wellbeing was important for BHP Billiton.

“Having access to quality healthcare can be life changing, particularly in an emergency situation.

“I’m proud that through BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities we were able to support Hunter New England Health’s efforts to ensure that all Muswellbrook residents can rely on some of the best care in the state should they need it,” Mr van den Heuvel said.    

HNE Health Chief Executive Mr Michael DiRienzo said BHP Billiton’s generous contribution means that HNE Health has delivered a bigger and better emergency department than was initially envisaged.

“This was one of the largest single private contributions HNE Health has ever received and it is greatly appreciated,” Mr DiRienzo said.

“Thanks to this partnership we have been able to build an emergency department that provides many new amenities that will allow our dedicated staff to deliver excellent care to our patients,” Mr DiRienzo said.

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