Minister for Health Sussan Ley and NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner visited Wagga Wagga Hospital today to officially open the state-of-the-art acute services building, the centrepiece of the $282 million Stages 1 and 2 redevelopment.
They were joined by Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack and Member for Wagga Wagga Daryl Maguire on a tour of the seven-storey, purpose-built facility, which will begin offering services to patients early next year.
Ms Ley welcomed the completion of the new Wagga Wagga Hospital, which is now equipped with first-class facilities to deliver modern healthcare and more specialised services.
“This is a great day for the local community as well as the wider Riverina. As a major rural referral hospital, the new Wagga Wagga Hospital will build links and work in collaboration with the district’s health services to provide care across the region,” Ms Ley said.
Mrs Skinner said the Wagga Wagga Hospital redevelopment was the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government’s largest investment in regional hospital infrastructure in its first term.
“I’m incredibly proud of the spacious, modern hospital the project team and our dedicated health professionals have delivered,” Mrs Skinner said.
“Wagga Wagga Hospital demonstrates our record investment in regional health infrastructure is not just about bricks and mortar but improving the confidence our staff and patients have in these long-promised upgrades that will benefit communities for generations to come.”
The new acute services building includes an expanded emergency department, imaging department, operating theatres, women’s and children’s inpatient units, intensive care and high dependency units, angiography suites, additional inpatient beds and a rooftop helipad.
Mr McCormack said Wagga Wagga now has more health facilities and services closer to home.
“Every day, regional communities like ours are looking brighter and more attractive to health professionals and families wanting to live and work here,” Mr McCormack said.
Mr Maguire said today’s milestone is the result of many years’ planning and construction work.
“We celebrate in the knowledge that the NSW Government’s $170 million Stage 3 commitment is on its way. When we are done, this hospital will be completely transformed,” Mr Maguire said.
The Wagga Wagga Hospital redevelopment was jointly funded, with the NSW Government contributing $215 million and the Commonwealth providing $55.1 million under the Health and Hospitals Fund.
The Commonwealth allocated a further $12 million to the project under the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) New Sub-Acute Beds Guarantee for 20 sub-acute mental health beds.
Stage 1 construction of the new 50-bed mental health unit was completed in October 2013.
Completion of the new entry forecourt and car park is due in mid-2017.
Photo caption: Member for Wagga Wagga Daryl Maguire, NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner, Minister for Health Sussan Ley and Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack officially open the new Wagga Wagga Hospital.