The NSW Government has called for tenders for the construction of the $50.4 million Bulli Aged Care Centre of Excellence.
The centre, which will include a new purpose-built hospital and a 60-suite residential aged care facility, is being built by NSW Health and IRT Group as part of a public/private partnership.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward said construction would begin following the tender being awarded in the coming months – and encouraged Illawarra companies to apply.
He said the centre would cater for the region’s ageing population (65-plus); which was forecast to grow from 19.6 per cent in 2011, to 25 per cent by 2031.
‘’The Aged Care Centre of Excellence will transform health care services for the Bulli community and ensure we are much better equipped to cope with an ageing population,’’ he said.
‘’The new state-of-the-art hospital has been designed with the elderly in mind, in consultation with local doctors, nurses, allied health and support staff. ...That’s why we are partnering with IRT, in order to maximise opportunities for people to access these services.’’
According to the plans, which were put out for community consultation last December, the key components of the development include a 60-bed public aged care in-patient unit; an outpatients clinic and an urgent care centre.
It will also include support and allied health services, a mortuary and parking for 46 vehicles as well as the 60-suite residential aged care facility.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said that the government had allocated almost $6 billion over the past six years for new hospitals, or expansion of existing hospitals and medical facilities.
“(We are) delivering on our commitment to ensure the delivery of high-quality health care right across the state that is purpose-built for local communities – and that includes Bulli,’’ he said.
Mr Ward said he was ‘’absolutely delighted’’ to be able to deliver on an election commitment, and see proceeds from the long-term lease of Port Kembla going back into the community.
NSW Health will provide $19.3 million towards the hospital project, which was also allocated $14.5 million from the Restart Illawarra Infrastructure Investment Fund in December 2013.
IRT Group, which will invest $16.6 million, will build and operate the residential aged care part of the project.
‘’I am constantly fighting for improvements for healthcare in our region,’’ he said.
‘’The NSW government has already delivered substantial upgrades to Wollongong and Shoalhaven hospitals, and now Bulli.’’