DEPUTY Premier Andrew Stoner announced the appointment of the lead consultant team for the $80 million redevelopment of Kempsey District Hospital on Wednesday.
The NSW government has provided $40 million towards the Kempsey redevelopment project to match the $40 million provided by the federal government through the Health and Hospital Fund already announced in May.
Mr Stoner said Johnstaff Projects has been appointed as project manager and BVN Architecture have been appointed as the architects for the project, with Altus Page Kirkland appointed as the project’s cost manager.
“It is expected that construction will commence late next year with some early works occurring on site before this. Construction of the new facility is expected to be completed in 2016,” Mr Stoner said.
“When the federal government announced the $40m earlier in the year I said to Jillian (NSW Health Minister Jillian skinner) 'come on we have to get something happening'.
"Jillian is a champion of regional health infrastructure and she has worked wonders with her health budget to provide these funds.”
Expanding the emergency department, a new medical imaging department, expanding operating theatre capacity to help reduce surgical waiting times and a major expansion of renal dialysis services are crucial parts of the redevelopment.
Local Health District chief executive Stewart Dowrick said the redevelopment of the Kempsey hospital was an opportunity that should not be wasted.
“It is the start of a long journey, this is only phase one and I look forward to embarking upon it,” Mr Dowrick said.
“It will certainly be a challenge but at the end of it I am confident we will have a facility that will serve as a model for the delivery of health services in regional Australia.
“It is important to get it right, we want to ‘futureproof’ the hospital against changing technology and community needs.
“We don’t want to look back in 10 years time and say we missed the boat.”
Kempsey Shire mayor Liz Campbell said the hospital was an essential part of Kempsey life.
“Sometimes I don’t think people realise how important a good hospital is to a regional community,” she said.