Hospital work to start

Sam JonesNorth West Telegraph
Health Minister Roger Cook.
Camera IconHealth Minister Roger Cook. Credit: Tim Edmunds

Decade-long prayers to boost rundown facilities at a remote Pilbara hospital are finally one step closer to being answered, with contractors encouraged to put their hands up for preliminary works.

A multimillion-dollar redevelopment of the Newman Health Campus was first announced by the Barnett Liberal government in 2016.

A total of $53.7 million was eventually allocated to the service by the McGowan Government, which included a $15 million contribution by mining giant BHP.

But the revamp reached a major milestone last week, with a forward works tender package released by the McGowan Government.

Pre-construction projects would include creating unsealed roads, temporary carparks and in-ground works to prepare the site for its main renovation, due to begin in 2020.

The new facility would eventually boast the latest country healthcare technology, with telehealth and videoconferencing offering patients more options when looking for specialists.

It would also include 12 inpatient beds, six emergency department treatment bays, outpatient consult spaces, therapy rooms and other specialist services.

The current hospital was built in 1970 and has been at the forefront of community concern over the past 10 years.

East Pilbara Shire President Lynne Craigie said even with the excellent health professionals available, the community has been desperate for the revamp.

“The people of Newman have been waiting a long time for a decent hospital and the Shire of East Pilbara is very pleased that the process is finally off the mark,” she said.

“Despite the fact we have excellent health professionals in Newman, the existing hospital is simply not fit for purpose and it’s absolutely critical that the State Government act fast to get the Newman Health Campus completed and ready for service.”

Health Minister Roger Cook said the Government was committed to investing in new health infrastructure and services to ensure people across WA received the best possible healthcare, no matter where they lived.

Newman Health Services would continue to operate patient care at the existing site throughout the redevelopment project.

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