08/01/2009 - 11:43

New $135m hospital for Albany

08/01/2009 - 11:43

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The state government has given the go-ahead for a new $135 million hospital in Albany, which will service more than 50,000 local residents in the Great Southern region.

The state government has given the go-ahead for a new $135 million hospital in Albany, which will service more than 50,000 local residents in the Great Southern region.

The green light represents the largest country hospital development ever undertaken in Western Australia.

Premier Colin Barnett today announced that the government would honour its election commitment and construct the new hospital, which will replace the current Albany Regional Hospital with a new purpose-built facility.

The new hospital will establish the Albany Health Campus as a Regional Resource Centre for the Great Southern region, servicing more than 50,000 local residents.

"We have committed to a rebuild of Albany Hospital, which is ageing and requires replacement," Mr Barnett said.

"This will be a brand new facility, built on vacant land close to the hospital and once completed, the old hospital will be demolished.

"It will be the largest hospital development ever undertaken in regional WA and the Liberal-National Government is committed to delivering the new building as soon as possible.

"With this investment in a new hospital, more than 80 per cent of patients from the Great Southern region will be able to be treated in Albany, closer to where they live."

Health Minister Dr Kim Hames said a replacement of Albany Hospital would deliver a superior, purpose-built modern facility that would service the needs of the Great Southern community well into the future.

"The new facility will include a new, much larger Emergency Department with state-of- the-art equipment. It will also include additional mental health beds and expanded renal dialysis, palliative care and cancer services," Dr Hames said.

"Modern ward areas will offer a far greater level of patient amenity.

"Regional surgical services will be enhanced with a purpose-built surgical centre incorporating three new theatres, a scope room and a procedure room, which will allow for more elective and day surgeries to be performed in Albany."

Dr Hames said obstetric and birthing facilities would also be substantially upgraded, meaning more women would be able to have their babies nearer to their home and families. A special care nursery would also allow for more sick babies to remain in the region.

He added the new facility with expanded services would ensure patients in the Great Southern region received the best health care available.

"Providing a new hospital with modern and expanded services will enhance both the quality of patient care in Albany, as well as ensure patient safety is of the highest standard and Great Southern residents receive the best possible health care close to home," he said.

Work on the detailed design of the new hospital will start within three months, with the project expected to go to tender in 2010.

Construction of the new Albany Regional Resource Centre is expected to commence in 2010 with completion of the hospital section scheduled for mid-2013.

"The project is made more complex by the need to build around a very busy existing hospital, however, the Government expects to draw heavily on private sector procurement expertise to minimise the development timeframe," Dr Hames said.

"The project will also create other opportunities for private sector involvement in areas such as ambulatory services, imaging and private medical suites at the new health campus, providing even more choices for Albany people.

"It will also have a positive flow-on to local small businesses providing work for building and trades contractors during the construction phase."

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