THE state government has dropped plans for a public-private partnership in the Wyong Hospital redevelopment, and will instead go it alone on the $200-million expansion.
The announcement follows a 10-month campaign by the community, public health advocates, and local health workers opposing the partial privatisation plans.
General secretary of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) Brett Holmes, congratulated Health Minister Brad Hazzard for making “the only sensible decision”.
“Without a doubt this is a welcome result and indicates that commonsense can prevail when governments are prepared to listen to all stakeholders,” Mr Holmes said.
“The previous health minister made a serious error in judgment when she announced last September that Wyong Hospital would be redeveloped under a public-private partnership without consulting staff, community members or health unions.”
“After careful assessment of expressions of interest from operators, the NSW government has decided on a government-led approach for this significant upgrade,” Mr Hazzard said.
“This $200 million redevelopment of Wyong Hospital brings the total investment in the future of health services for the Central Coast to $588 million.”
The Wyong Hospital redevelopment comes on the back of the $348 million redevelopment of Gosford Hospital, the $20 million medical school and new hospital carpark ($35.5 million).
The new-look Wyong Hospital would feature a new emergency department, maternity care, paediatric services, new inpatient surgical beds, rehabilitation facilities, ambulatory services, mental health services, and additional car parking.
Mr Hazzard said the upgrade would go a long way in boosting clinical care for patients and relieving pressure on the emergency department.
The announcement followed extensive consultation with staff at Wyong Hospital as well as the local community to determine the best model of delivery for the upgrade, Mr Hazzard said.
The government said this week that work on the redevelopment would begin in November.