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  • Keegan Thomson

Premier commits $550 million to Nepean Hospital

NEPEAN Hospital will receive a $550 million upgrade under a new plan announced by Premier Mike Baird, who joined Health Minister Jillian Skinner, Stuart Ayres MP and Tanya Davies MP at the hospital this week.

During an announcement, Premier Mike Baird said he was dedicated to creating a hospital that will last for years to come.

“We will be delivering a world-class hospital here in the Nepean that will continue to serve the catchment across western Sydney,” Premier Mike Baird said.

The Premier paid tribute to Stuart Ayres, MP for Penrith, the local community and the Nepean Hospital doctors for fighting for the upgrade.

“It has been a long fought campaign,” the Premier said. “I do want to pay particular tribute to the local member, the local community and all of the staff that are determined to get the best possible facilities we can to provide the health care that is needed right here.”

Mr Ayres echoed the Premier’s comments about the upgrades being a win for Penrith.

“This redevelopment of Nepean Hospital will mean we can cater for more patients in a world class hospital with more doctors and nurses,” he said.

“This redevelopment will meet the health needs of this rapidly growing region.”

Some of the upgrades included in the more than half a billion dollar upgrade is a new clinical service block, an expanded emergency department, at least 12 new operating theatres, 200 overnight beds and a new helipad.

The Premier said the state government was delivering the biggest hospital rebuilding program in the State’s history.

“The population of Western Sydney is due to rise significantly in the next 20 years and our major investment will ensure we meet the healthcare needs of the region,” Mr Baird said.

Immediate works will commence to upgrade the Emergency Department with a paediatric assessment and treatment area, establishment of a safe assessment room, and the upgrade of the mobile duress systems and CCTV.

Medical oncology services will also be boosted shortly with the doubling of chemotherapy chairs from 15 to 30. Planning for a third radiotherapy bunker and an additional linear accelerator, the replacement of the hospital’s MRI, provision of an additional birthing suite and some expansion of day surgery will also be progressed.

Hospital upgrade but still no helicopters

THE current helipad at the hospital, and the lack of helicopters landing on it, has been a point of contention for the state government.

Last month it was revealed there hadn’t been any helicopters landing on the hospital’s helipad since October, with the blame being placed on the large amount of cranes around the Penrith CBD, particularly the crane in Derby street.

A spokesperson from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority told Nepean News there would be “no operations for the foreseeable future as long as the cranes are in their current location,” fueling speculation that the redevelopment of the hospital would only hinder the helicopters further.

Currently the state government is rushing to find an alternate landing pad for helicopters

delivering critical patients to Nepean Hospital, but until then all helicopters are being diverted to Westmead hospital.

An updated helipad will be a part of the new Nepean hospital upgrades but it might not be operational until all the crane work and other construction work is finished, which might not be until 2021.

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