New hospital theatres ready to roll

STAGE one of Grafton Base Hospital’s redevelopment will be completed this morning when new, state-of-the-art operating theatres become fully operational.

Federal member for Page Janelle Saffin joined medical staff for a tour of the three new operating theatres and the new emergency department on Friday afternoon.

While surgery has been performed in the theatres since last December, and the emergency department has been open for the past fortnight, Monday’s opening of a new day surgery unit and staff change rooms will mark the completion of stage one, Ms Saffin said.

“I am proud to be able to deliver on one of my major election commitments from 2007, and no project of this magnitude or complexity is achieved without a team effort between all tiers of government, hospital staff, the Grafton United Hospital Auxiliary and community supporters,” Ms Saffin said.

Everyone has worked extremely well together to provide local patients with a world-class,

value-for-money investment in public health infrastructure, she said.

Dr Allan Tyson said that people have been saying “if you build a better hospital, the specialists will come”.

“That might sound a bit cornball but it’s true,” Dr Tyson said.

“Now that stage one has been completed we are attempting to go straight into stage two next month, potentially saving about $400,000 in construction costs,” he said.

Stage two will include refurbishing pathology and a new kitchen for the hospital.

Ms Saffin said that her $10 million re-election commitment to build a new $7 million x-ray department, and six orthopedic beds costing $3 million, should be completed by August 2012.

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