THEATRE UPDATE: Ballina Base Hospital commenced its million-dollar upgrade which includes state-of-the-art operating theatre. L-R Chief exec NNSW Health District, Wayne Jones, Acting BBH director Denise McCall, Director clinical operations Lynne Weir, Ben Franklin, Minister for Health Brad Hazzard, capital works manager Peter Clearly and chairman Brian Pezzutti look over the plans.
THEATRE UPDATE: Ballina Base Hospital commenced its million-dollar upgrade which includes state-of-the-art operating theatre. L-R Chief exec NNSW Health District, Wayne Jones, Acting BBH director Denise McCall, Director clinical operations Lynne Weir, Ben Franklin, Minister for Health Brad Hazzard, capital works manager Peter Clearly and chairman Brian Pezzutti look over the plans. Alison Paterson

New state-of-the-art operating theatre for hospital

STATE-of-the-art operating theatre facilities and medical imaging upgrades will bring the Ballina District Hospital up to date, benefit patients and attract top medical staff to the region in a $7.35million upgrade.

On Monday morning, Minister for Health Brad Hazzard, together with parliamentary secretary for Northern NSW Ben Franklin, joined local health officials and staff to announce the start of demolition works for Stage 2 of the redevelopment which is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and State governments.

Mr Hazzard said construction will soon begin on new back-of-house services at Ballina, including a loading dock and storage space (including space for biomedical equipment testing), plant room, maintenance office and workshop, and a new medical records department.

He said the full scope of works for the Ballina District Hospital should be completed by late 2018 and includes stores and utilities, IT and office spaces and staff amenities.

"This significant upgrade for Ballina District Hospital comes on top of the investment of more than $320 million in the Lismore Base Hospital redevelopment, with the project right on schedule to deliver brand new equipment for central sterilisation services to support the fantastic, new theatre complex at Lismore," he said.

Mr Franklin said Stage 1 was completed in early 2017, with significant medical imaging upgrades, including a new CT scanner and ultrasound services.

"Modern facilities are key to ensuring our clinicians and hospital staff can continue to provide the high-quality health care that our local communities deserve," he said.

"Stage 2 of this significant redevelopment will pave the way for upgrades to surgical services at Ballina District Hospital, with a new operating theatre and a new recovery area."

Director of clinical operations Lynne Weir said the upgraded facilities would also mean the hospital will continue to attract excellent medical staff.

"The staff have been involved in the fitout and design for these new buildings which is wonderful," she said.

"The good thing about the new theatre is state of the art so we can do new procedures, the old theatres is very old and needs upgrading."

Ms Weir said the new building will allow them to change the mix of operations and will allow them to look at orthopaedics which is in demand.

"Having all these new theatres and facilities across the district will help attract more staff," she said. "Build it and they will come."

Ballina Hospital acting executive director and director of nursing, Denise McCall said it was a great day for the hospital.



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