Dramatic change in diagnosis of health service



ONLY three months after saying we had the State's most under-funded health service, local health boss Chris Crawford says local services have grown dramatically this year.

The Northern Rivers Area Health Service administrator yesterday said a combination of staff dedication and Government expenditure of nearly $13 million meant the region had bigger and higher quality health services than it started the year with.

In 12 months the region received:

nA five-bed expansion emergency department at Lismore Base Hospital, costing $450,000.

nA $1.5-million digital CT scanner for the Base Hospital's X-ray department.

nA refurbished and enhanced Casino Hos- pital, costing $500,000.

nAn innovative water birthing unit at Mullumbimby Hospi- tal.

nAn outreach cancer care and haematology service at Ballina Hospital.

nA refurbished and re-equipped X-ray suite at Maclean District Hospital, worth $160,000.

nA new high-tech administration system across the service

nA new $6.2 million facility at Tweed Heads.

n$3.5 million to start the $26-million redevelopment of the Richmond Clinic at Lismore Base Hospital, and $75,000 for progress planning for a new radiation-oncology unit.

The comments come three months after Mr Crawford told a public meeting that the Northern Rivers Area Health Service was the most under-funded in NSW.

But Mr Crawford said this year's new growth would continue as the redevelopment of the Base Hospital got under way.

The new radiationoncology centre was expected to cost about $16 million alone, and planning for a new clinical block at the hospital ? combining a new emergency department, pathology facility and car parking ? was still to come, he said.



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