Shellharbour Hospital needs a massive cash injection to become a major metropolitan hospital to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population, the health district’s chief said yesterday.
‘‘I suppose if someone were to give us a bundle of money right now, we’d put it into Shellharbour,’’ Clinical Professor Denis King said.
‘‘It’s the area of greatest population growth and need. It needs to become a major metropolitan hospital and acute hospital hub for the southern Illawarra.’’
Prof King said $10million in funding had already been committed to developing Shellharbour.
‘‘We’ve already committed some work there. First on our list of priorities that we have identified to the government and the ministry is a major redevelopment of Shellharbour,’’ Prof King said.
He said Shellharbour had generally higher rates of obesity, cardiac disease, smoking and ‘‘a whole range of ill health that we think we could service better’’.
‘‘The demand for the emergency department there is significant and going to increase and we’re not comfortable that we provide sufficient surgical back-up there yet.
‘‘We need expanded medical and surgical facilities across the board.’’
Kiama MP Gareth Ward welcomed the board’s commitment to Shellharbour, noting that ‘‘doing the greatest good for the greatest number was always tough’’.