The new $17.5 million Grafton Base Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre is on track to be completed by middle of this year despite disruption from the coronavirus, Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis has announced.

“In fact, the builders are addressing the COVID-19 situation and have introduced precautionary measures to ensure a safe workplace for all involved as work progresses,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“There has never been a better time to upgrade a hospital. This isn’t just an important health facility for the Clarence Valley, it is also supporting the local economy by continuing to employ people on the project.”

The removal of scaffolding has begun, with the external facade of the building now visible providing the community with a greater view of how the finished centre will appear once complete.

Work is progressing on joining the centre into the existing Community Health Drug and Alcohol building and the hospital’s West Wing building.

Internally the clinical and staff areas, as well as the wall sheeting, vinyl flooring, and the cabinetry for nurse stations, are nearing completion on Level 1 and progressing well on Level 2.

Work has also begun on the new vehicle drop-off bay within the hospital’s main entry forecourt, with pedestrian access to the hospital’s Main Entrance temporarily changed.

Upon completion, the new two-storey centre will provide modern facilities for the hospital’s existing departments, including: Oncology, Chemotherapy and Haematology services; Renal Dialysis Unit; Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Podiatry, and Speech Pathology departments; Fracture Clinics and Osteo-Refracture Clinics; Dietetics and Nutrition Outpatient Clinics; and Outpatient Clinics for Cardiac and Respiratory Rehabilitation services, and Diabetes Education and Diabetes Foot Clinics.