The first sod on Shellharbour Hospital’s new $6.7 million expansion is just weeks away from being turned after a contract for the main work was awarded this week.
Kiama MP Gareth Ward announced Fugen Constructions would carry out the works on the Ambulatory Care Unit project, expected to be completed in early 2015.
“The project is part of the NSW government’s $10 million election commitment for planning for the Illawarra Shoalhaven,’’ Mr Ward said.
‘‘We are getting on with the job of delivering the improvements and crucial investments needed to ensure we have a first class health system.’’
Some of the improved facilities will include a multifunctional chronic and complex gymnasium for pulmonary rehabilitation, group antenatal classes, extra consultation and collection rooms and 60 additional parking spaces.
Southern Illawarra Hospital Group general manager Ian Power said the expansion would provide an improved environment for both patients and staff.
‘‘Ambulatory care is important, particularly for those people with chronic illnesses who have maybe been in hospital that have gone home, we’re able to give them care and keep them in their own homes,’’ he said.
Mr Ward said a clinical services plan had identified a number of priorities for redevelopment for Shellharbour, which he would continue to fight for.
They include an expanded emergency department, rehabilitation beds and renal dialysis, as well as new operating theatres, acute surgical inpatient beds, psychiatric emergency care centre and medical oncology, haematology and medical day stay.
"I will continue to work hard for improvements in services for local patients and to ensure that we continue to have a first class local health system capable of meeting the needs of our community," Mr Ward said.