Hospital still waiting for repairs

IT has been a month-and-a-half since patients were first transferred from the Campbell Hospital at Coraki to Casino after heavy rains caused the hospital roof to leak.

The hospital has since remained closed and patients and staff have been advised it will not reopen until the fire alarms have been fixed.

North Coast Area Health Service chief executive Chris Crawford said a structural engineer was engaged to investigate and report on rectification works to bring the Campbell Hospital at Coraki up to an appropriate operational standard.

According to the report, some of the roof iron was badly rusted and deteriorated due to age, which would need to be replaced together with some structural timbers that would have to be re-pitched at a greater angle to ensure water flowed off the roof.

“The replacement of parts of the roof is necessary to ensure that water does not leak through the roof and disable the fire safety panel and enter some patient care areas,” he said.

“White ants have been discovered and areas of the building have damage requiring attention.”

Save Coraki Hospital Committee president, Gerard Criss, is sceptical of the length of the closure and lack of updates.

“We have been trying to arrange a meeting with Mr Crawford to find out what’s going on,” he said.

“At the moment there isn’t even a tarpaulin on the roof where it has been leaking.”

Mr Criss’ greater concern is for the Coraki community now that the accident and emergency section has closed.

“Coraki has a high proportion of unemployed, elderly and indigenous people living in the town and all three of these groups have little access to private transport,” he said.

Mr Crawford said submissions from local builders were being sought with a contract to complete the required work to be drawn up within the next few weeks.

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