A public hospital in Forster Tuncurry is a step closer, with the NSW Nationals confirming Forster Private Hospital is identified as the preferred site of the new Forster Tuncurry Public Hospital.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the government was focused on improving health services for people living in rural and regional communities.
“We are seeing record investment in health infrastructure right across our state, and Forster Tuncurry is the latest community in line for a modern, purpose-built facility that will complement private healthcare options in the region,” Mr Toole said.
“The new Forster Tuncurry Public Hospital will include a range of enhanced services, including emergency, inpatient and outpatient care to meet the demands of the community now and into the future.
Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said the hospital will make a big difference to the lives of people living in the Forster Tuncurry area.
“This growing community deserves a local public hospital, and we are working hard to ensure people living in and around the Great Lakes have their health care needs met closer to home,” Mrs Taylor said.
“The NSW Government secured initial funding of $20 million in the 2022-23 NSW State Budget, and additional funding has recently been secured that will ensure a Forster Tuncurry public hospital will be delivered in late 2024/early 2025.”
Discussions are underway with the landowners Cape Hawke Community Hospital and Health Association and the current operator of Foster Private Hospital, Healthe Care.
Nationals Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead said the continuation of some existing private services will be explored, complementing the public services the new hospital will deliver.
“I would like to thank the Cape Hawke Community Hospital and Health Association for advocating for their community and working in partnership with us to expand health services in Forster, and Healthe Care for recognising the importance of a public health facility to complement private health care options in the region,” Mr Bromhead said.
“Further detailed work to investigate the potential of this site is now being undertaken, which is essential to ensure this significant investment meets the healthcare needs of the region well into the future.”
Nationals’ candidate for Myall Lakes, Tanya Thompson, has thanked Mr Bromhead for his efforts in fighting for the public hospital.
“When I was preselected, better health for the Myall Lakes was at the top of my list. I’ve listened to community members, met with medical clinicians and taken these concerns straight to the Minister for Regional Health and I’m so proud that we have delivered this positive outcome for the Myall Lakes,” Mrs Thompson said.
Forster Tuncurry Public Hospital will be delivered by Health Infrastructure in partnership with Hunter New England Health. The community will continue to be updated and will have the opportunity to provide their input and feedback as planning for the project progresses.
Since 2011, the NSW Nationals in government have delivered more than 180 health capital works projects across NSW, with more than 130 projects currently underway – of those, more than 90 are in rural and regional areas.
Other projects in the region include:
• New ambulance stations for Forster and Old Bar
• Refurbishments at Bulahdelah Ambulance Station, Taree Ambulance Station and Tuncurry Ambulance Station
• $100 million for Stage 2 of the Manning Hospital redevelopment, in addition to the $40 million Stage 1 which opened in 2020.