NSW Labor leader Michael Daley and Ballina candidate Asren Pugh commit to an $80.4 million redevelopment of Ballina District Hospital.
NSW Labor leader Michael Daley and Ballina candidate Asren Pugh commit to an $80.4 million redevelopment of Ballina District Hospital. Contributed

Ballina Hospital upgrade solid after $80 million commitment

BALLINA District Hospital will benefit from an $80 million re-development, regardless of who wins the NSW State election next week.

NSW Labor leader Michael Daley has committed to matching the National's promise of $80.4 million to re-develop the Ballina District Hospital.

A NSW Labor government will construct a new Emergency Department, Ambulance Bay, Allied Health and Outpatient areas, two new operating theatres and enhanced medical services.

Thursday's announcement is similar to the commitment made by NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard earlier this month.

Labor's candiate for Ballina Asren Pugh said the re-development would be an incredible boost for the community, which had been demanding better health services for months.

"No one can forget the images of a patient several years ago lying on the concrete outside Ballina Hospital's emergency department; it is time to fix this hospital," Mr Pugh said.

"This is one of the most over-stretched hospitals in the state and the hospital upgrade and additional staff are desperately needed."

Labor has also promised to provide 5,500 more nurses, 1,500 more paramedics 2,240 more cleaning, support personnel and allied health workers and 250 more security staff to protect patients and health workers.

"Regional hospitals and health services around the State - particularly on the North Coast - have been neglected for too long under the Liberals and Nationals," Mr Daley said.

Recent independent data from the Bureau of Health Information (BHI), reveals that Ballina District Hospital is under pressure.

Its emergency department attends to more than 17,000 patients a year - with 17 per cent waiting longer than four hours. However, 10 per cent of patients waited longer than five hours and 21 minutes.

In addition, the average waiting time for "non-urgent" surgery was 242 days; this was an increase of 39 days over the previous year.

As of December 31, there were 238 patients waiting for non-urgent elective surgery.



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