What's in the state budget for Shellharbour Hospital?

Concerned: Shellharbour Hospital nurses Chevonne Cowell, Silvana Dimovski and Nadia Rodriguez want the state government to deliver on its promise to fund an upgrade of the ageing facility. Picture: Robert Peet
Concerned: Shellharbour Hospital nurses Chevonne Cowell, Silvana Dimovski and Nadia Rodriguez want the state government to deliver on its promise to fund an upgrade of the ageing facility. Picture: Robert Peet

Shellharbour Hospital nurses hope the state government delivers on a key pre-election promise for the region in next week’s budget.

Registered nurse and NSW Nurses and Midwives Association member Nadia Rodriguez said the government committed to $251 million for a major redevelopment of the hospital prior to the 2015 election. 

‘’Since then, we’ve seen $2.9 million for Shellharbour Hospital in the 2015-16 budget and $3.1 million in the 2016-17 budget – which comes to $6 million,’’ she said. ‘’Where’s the remaining $245 million?

‘’Meanwhile the government has since announced the hospital will be privatised – so will they just be handing the money to the private sector to redevelop and run the hospital?

‘’I wonder how the community would have felt – and voted – if they knew about that prior to the state election?’’

Ms Rodriguez said more than 300 people attended a recent public forum on the future of the hospital, showing the level of community concern about the proposed public-private partnership.

‘’We want the government to consider Shellharbour Hospital in the upcoming budget – and we will continue to campaign for it to be left in public hands,’’ she said.

‘’We want community members to continue to have accessible and affordable healthcare – and to continue to receive a high standard of care.’’

Parliamentary secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward said the government would deliver on its promise.

‘’We said that improvement in services would commence before the end of this term – and we’re only halfway through that term.’’