Tender marks health milestone

Sam JonesThe West Australian
Health Minister Roger Cook and Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel.
Camera IconHealth Minister Roger Cook and Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr.

The long-awaited Newman Hospital is one step closer after the McGowan Government released the tender ahead of schedule last week.

The $53.7 million invested in the project would see all clinical facilities upgraded to form a new purpose-built hospital, including 12 inpatient beds, six emergency department bays, two dental chairs, six GP consult spaces and a medical imaging, pathology and procedure room.

The release of the main works package tender marks a significant milestone for the redevelopment, with the existing premises set to remain operational throughout the program of works.

The new hospital will also benefit from the latest in innovative healthcare technology, including telegraph and videoconferencing capabilities to connect local clinicians to specialists in the metropolitan area.

Member for the Pilbara Kevin Michel said the the commitment was part of a wider push to bring the best possible health care to the Pilbara.

“The new Newman hospital will provide locals with vastly improved access to specialist care through world-class health technology,” he said.

“This redevelopment has been asked for by the Newman community for decades, I am proud we were able to deliver a new hospital for the Newman community.”

Health Minister Roger Cook said he looked forward to seeing the contemporary health service up and running as soon as possible.

“With the nearest major hospital currently 450 kilometres away in South Hedland, this redevelopment will see locals benefit from improved access to health services in a contemporary, fit-for-purpose facility,” he said.

“This marks a significant milestone for Newman Health Services and the local community, I share in their passion to see contemporary health service up and running as soon as possible and am pleased to see the WA Country Health Service progressing the main works package to tender.”

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

Shire of East Pilbara president Lynne Craigie said the Shire and residents had been waiting a long time, but were happy to see the development get off the mark.

“Although we have excellent medical professionals serving our community, the existing hospital in Newman is simply not fit for purpose, so I am excited that this project is finally starting to move forward,” she said.

“Community members can follow the progress of this project by visiting the My Healthy Pilbara Facebook page.”

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.

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