Hospital upgrade work imminent

THE upgrade of Grafton Base Hospital is scheduled to start next month with works to be done by Lahey Constructions Pty Ltd, it was announced yesterday.

The $19.735 million upgrade is expected to start late-January for completion by early-2011. The project will include new operating theatres and an upgraded emergency department.

Federal Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said winning tender Lahey Constructions had a long history of building commercial, hospital and educational facilities in NSW.

Page MP Janelle Saffin said she was delighted that the tender has been awarded and work would soon be under way.

“These facilities will help relieve some of the pressure on health services in this local region and ensure that the community has access to top-level health care,” Ms Saffin said.

She said Grafton Base Hospital played a vital role in providing for acute health needs in the Clarence Valley and the upgrade would extend that service.

Early works are being undertaken on the surgical services building site before the main construction work starts next month. Alterations to the emergency department will also start early next year after the mental health unit relocates to the Aruma site. The Federal Government has funded the upgrade to the tune of $18 million, with $1.2 million accrued from interest.

A further $500,000 was contributed by the State Government to go toward the planning process.

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