Australia: Tweed Hospital Operating Theatres First to Get Upgrade

Funding for the Tweed Hospital redevelopment is set to be dragged out over a number of painstaking years for clinicians fighting for the facility, as it is revealed the Health Ministry is not budging on its $48m commitment for Stage One.


Tweed Hospital Intensive Care Unit lead Dr Mike Lindley-Jones. Alina Rylko

Mr Provest confirmed that despite clinician's calls for the $48m planned in the June State Budget be increased to the actual $140m cost, that will not occur in the 2016-17 financial year.

Further, Mr Provest said NSW Health Infrastructure will take "two-and-a-half years" to spend the $48m, before the rest of the redevelopment, estimated at $211m in 2013, is funded.

Tweed doctors who lobbied the Health Minster Jillian Skinner to make an extra visit to the Tweed Hospital recently, remained hopeful once Stage One commenced, the rest would simply be completed.

Intensive Care Unit lead and Medical Staff Council chairman Dr Mike Lindley-Jones said clinicians remained cautiously optimistic during this time.

"We had the Health Minister look us in the eyes and say 'You have to trust me'," Dr Lindley-Jones said.

"'I always keep my word, and when I say it will be redeveloped, once the work starts, it will be finished, and I will keep my word on that'.

"We are grateful to her for that is exactly what the people of Tweed want.

"We have waited for so long, it has been five years since we developed the clinical services plan and we haven't had a blade of grass cut yet."

Dr Lindley-Jones said it had been decided operating theatres will be the first ward to be redeveloped.

"We will be holding the Government to their word, because people at the Tweed deserve a new hospital," he said.

In a statement, Health Minister Jillian Skinner confirmed she had met with Tweed Hospital clinicians on May 9 and agreed to fund the entire redevelopment.

"At a meeting with the Tweed Medical Staff council last week, I committed to funding the full hospital upgrade that was promised to the Tweed community," Mrs Skinner said.

"NSW Health Infrastructure will continue working with clinicians to develop the clinical priorities."

It is understood Stage One will commence as early as December 2016.


Source: Tweed Daily News



Australia: Tweed Hospital Operating Theatres First to Get Upgrade

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