New emergency department opened in Casino

Casino's new emergency department is in business

PAGE MP Kevin Hogan has today formally opened Casino hospital's brand new $3 million emergency department.

The new emergency department gives the 15,000 people who visit the hospital every year for everything from a life-threatening heart attack to a cut finger access to state-of-the art emergency care.

It includes a redesigned ambulance entrance, a triage area to allow high priority patients to be seen faster, a new waiting room, a dedicated children's room, and a consult room allowing rapid GP-level care for minor cases.

There are also two new resuscitation rooms, four new emergency treatment bays, and improved security across the facility.

Chairman of the Northern NSW Local health District Brian Pezzutti said the improvements were the latest upgrade in the story of the current hospital which could be traced back to 1979 when the foundation stone was laid.

"It was desperately needed… I remember going back even further than that when I had my tonsils out when when I was 12, in a 12 bed ward, and being here for 10 days… during that time six men died in that ward in the night. I didn't like hospitals for many years after that."

Dr Pezzutti said in the 1970s every hospital in the state had large numbers of sick children, particularly Aboriginal children, and since then there had been "big changes" through the 1980s for the benefit of local families.

The new emergency department was entirely funded by the Federal Government.

It was not originally an election promise of the Coalition to fund the upgrades, but lobbying by Mr Hogan to then Health Minister Peter Dutton ensured both the Casino Hospital and Ballina Hospital upgrades (which was an election commitment) were eventually funded to the tune of $7.5 million.

"It was obvious it was a necessity for this community and for the Casino Hospital, I went through it with the Health Minister and he was very very receptive," Mr Hogan said.

"We want hospitals like this to thrive… the upgrades of infrastructure that we've done here is an important part of that."

Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Chris Crawford, who is retiring at the end of the year after a 15-year stint in the job, said he was proud that all the emergency departments in the region with the imminent completion of Lismore and Ballina had seen an overhaul during his tenure.

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