Local hospitals set to close by the end of May
Byron and Mullumbimby District Hospitals will be closed by the end of May if the commissioning of the new Byron Central Hospital remains on schedule.
Moving patients out of the old hospitals and into the new central facility, as well as operating the new hospital as major health centre in its own right, will all happen on the same day.
An exact date for the changeover process, known as "decantering," has not been determined, a spokesperson for Northern NSW Local Health District said.
But even taking into account some last minute problems the change-over is expected to take place before the end of May.
The new Byron Central Hospital is all but finished except for the final phase of equipment testing, and bringing a variety of systems online, such as air conditioning.
Staff are also going through a familiarisation process at the new facility.
Byron Central Hospital officially opened by the NSW Minster for Health Jillian Skinner earlier today.
On the change over day all patients in Mullumbimby and Byron District Hospitals will be transferred to the new facility.
From 8am on transfer day the old emergency departments will also start directing patients to the new hospital.
By 5 pm on transfer day both of the old hospitals will close their doors to patients for good.
Health centre replaced
The new hospital will also replace the Bangalow, Brunswick Heads and Ocean Shores community health centres
The old hospital sites are no longer required by NSW Health and will be put under the control of Government Property NSW, the Health Minster Jillian Skinner said.
"Look I don't know what will happen to the sites, there will be a disposal process organised by Government Property NSW.
"The sites are no longer required by NSW Health.
"Mullumbimby has a real asbestos problem, so any sale proceeds will have to go towards fixing that," she said.