The Nationals in Government have secured $17.5 million for a Grafton Base Hospital upgrade, which will begin within weeks following the awarding of the lead building contract.

Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis said it would make a huge difference in the electorate.

“The main works contract for the Grafton Base Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre has been awarded to Woollam Construction which means building can begin in early March and should take under a year to complete,” Mr Gulaptis said. “This is the same company that built the new HealthOne centre in Coraki, and I am confident there will be tenders for local tradies as there have been for the new gaol and new Grafton Bridge.”

The project includes a new two storey building; a new loading dock; new links to the existing hospital campus; and a new public drop off zone.

It will improve existing day services and bring in new ones. It means patients needing the following treatments will get better care:

• Oncology, Chemotherapy and Haematology services;
• Renal Dialysis Unit;
• Physiotherapy Department;
• Occupational Therapy Department;
• Podiatry Department;
• Speech Pathology Department;
• Paediatric Outpatient Clinics;
• Specialist General Medicine Outpatient Clinics;
• Fracture Clinics and Osteo-Refracture Clinics;
• Dietetics and Nutrition Outpatient Clinics;
• Obstetrics and Gynaecology Clinics;
• Occupational Therapy Outpatient Clinics;
• Outpatient Clinics for patients with chronic conditions including Cardiac and Respiratory Rehabilitation services, Diabetes Education and Diabetes Foot Clinics.

“This is going to make a big difference for Clarence patients,” Mr Gulaptis said. “The next step is to future proof Clarence health by securing the funding for an even bigger $268 million redevelopment of the hospital.”