Hospital on top for new care section
AFTER a big week of milestone openings, one could wonder if member for Clarence was on top of the world.
Well, not quite, but he did make it all the way to the top of the new Ambulatory Care centre, complete with a tree to symbolise the "topping out" of the new centre.
"The new centre is beyond the half way mark and when it opens next year it will have a huge positive impact for day patients across the Clarence Valley," Mr Gulaptis said.
Much to the relief of the builders and officials present, the tree wouldn't quite fit down a concrete shaft on the to floor, and instead will be planted in the nearby surrounds.
The $17.5 million upgrade puts Grafton Base Hospital at the forefront of ambulatory care in the region and is a stepping stone towards fulfilling the commitment Mr Gulaptis secured from the Nationals in the NSW Government for the $263 million complete redevelopment of the Hospital.
The Grafton Base Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre provides two new floors of clinical services, supported by new public drop off zone and loading dock below, and new links to the existing hospital campus.
Mr Gulaptis said the facility would replace the current services were delivered in "tired, cramped and outdated premises" and would allow these services to a 21st Century standard.
The facility is expected to finish sometime in mid-2020, when Mr Gulaptis focus would then turn to the government's promise to start work on the redevelopment of Grafton Base Hospital, something he believed was on track to happen.
"The plan to start in this term of government is still underway," Mr Gulaptis said.
"I'd like to think we'll get some planning money, because of course, the whole service plan has to be reconsidered and brought up to speed where we currently are."
Mr Gulaptis said that the new correctional centre and the demand it would place on the hospital would require a rethink of the current plan, and while there was no money in the current budget, it was an imperative for the project to move forward.
"We're going to need to see some money in planning to see work commenced in this term," he said.
"That was a commitment that the government made and I expect them to honour that commitment as they honoured the commitment to the bridge."
Mr Gulaptis also announced two $3000 scholarship carrots were announced for young doctors interested in training in emergency and paediatrics.
"What we know is that young doctors and nurses who do an early stint in regional NSW often stay in regional NSW and there is no better place to live and work than in the Clarence Valley and its ever improving hospital," Mr Gulaptis said.