Work will begin immediately to upgrade Nepean Hospital's emergency department as part of a $550 million redevelopment announced on Monday by the state government.
NSW Premier Mike Baird visited the hospital to make the announcement, which will see a paediatric assessment and treatment area and a safe assessment room established in the emergency department, as well as the upgrade of the mobile duress systems and CCTV. A new $26 million car park will also be delivered in addition to the $550 million worth of works.
“This hospital … is long overdue for the sort of upgrade we’ve announced, we’ve done the work, we’ve secured the funding, and now we’re going to get on with it,” Mr Baird said.
Under the plans, chemotherapy chairs will be doubled from 15 to 30, the hospital’s MRI will be replaced, and planning for a third radiotherapy bunker and additional linear accelerator for cancer services will also be delivered. A new helicopter landing pad will also be constructed.
But the Opposition claimed the government had been “dragged kicking and screaming” into making the announcement, under pressure from staff, the community and the ALP.
Chair of the hospital Medical Staff Council, Dr Nhi Nguyen, said one of the biggest concerns were the projections in regards to the growing population.
“At the moment the projections don’t include the increase in housing that will occur as a result of Badgerys Creek [airport].
“We already are worried that it’s not going to be enough.”
But Mr Baird and Health Minister Jillian Skinner said the government was “investing at record levels” and had already delivered, with continuous work on the site since coming to office.
Opposition Health Spokesman Walt Secord, said the announcement was made to save Penrith MP Stuart Ayres following the deposing of former Lindsay Liberal MP, Fiona Scott, at this year’s federal election.
Mr Ayres said the announcement ensured western Sydney had access to “world-class health facilities matched with world class health care”.
“This is the growth corridor in NSW with the strongest population growth. It’s taken far too long to get to this point, but we have dealt with what has been an historical under-investment.”