Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones speaks at the official opening of the $17.5 million Grafton Base Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre on Thursday, 13th August, 2020.
Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones speaks at the official opening of the $17.5 million Grafton Base Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre on Thursday, 13th August, 2020.

$17.5M health boost for Clarence Valley

THE opening of the Grafton Base Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre signals the completion of the first major step towards reshaping Grafton Base Hospital for the future.

The state-of-the-art two-storey building houses a whole range of out-patient services previously scattered across the hospital campus.

The $17.5 million Grafton Base Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre.
The $17.5 million Grafton Base Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre.

Clarence Health Services general manager Dan Madden said consolidating all the ambulatory care services into the new building allowed further improvements to the hospital campus to start, including the $263.8 million upgrade promised by the NSW Government at the last election.

"This has vacated a lot of the older areas out the back of the hospital which frankly were destined for demolition long term according to the master plan for the full redevelopment of the hospital," Mr Madden said.

"When the master plan was developed in 2015-16 the scenario that was identified as optimal would allow sequential staging so it wouldn't interrupt the operations of the hospital while the new hospital was built.

"This was seen as the first domino. This allows us to empty out some of the older buildings elsewhere on the site and pave the way for stage two of the redevelopment."

Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis cuts the ribbon with Clarence Health Services general manager Dan Madden and Grafton Ambulatory Care Centre admin support officer Jodie Coffey and project manager Tara Chambers at the official opening of the $17.5 million Grafton Base Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre on Thursday, 13th August, 2020.
Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis cuts the ribbon with Clarence Health Services general manager Dan Madden and Grafton Ambulatory Care Centre admin support officer Jodie Coffey and project manager Tara Chambers at the official opening of the $17.5 million Grafton Base Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre on Thursday, 13th August, 2020.

Mr Madden, Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones and Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis joined doctors, hospital staff and representatives of the Indigenous community to officially open the $17.5 million facility on Thursday.

Mr Gulaptis predicted the opening of the centre will in time be seen as an historic event that improved the lives of all Clarence residents in need of medical care.

"Today we celebrate a massive improvement to our hospital" Mr Gulaptis said. "It is a bit like the highway upgrade and the new Grafton Bridge; so often promised, so often betrayed, but now delivered by the Nationals in NSW Government.

"The commitment to the funding goes back five years. It takes a long time to squeeze that money out of treasury, but it's well worth it.

"In the future it will be even bigger and better thanks to the $263 million commitment I secured from the Nationals in Government for a further major overhaul.

Chris Gulaptis has a chat with physiotherapy patient Ellen Mulherin under the watchful eye of physiotherapist Melissa Burns and Northern NSW Local Health District board manager Dr Allan Tyson (in background) at the official opening of the $17.5 million Grafton Base Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre on Thursday, 13th August, 2020.
Chris Gulaptis has a chat with physiotherapy patient Ellen Mulherin under the watchful eye of physiotherapist Melissa Burns and Northern NSW Local Health District board manager Dr Allan Tyson (in background) at the official opening of the $17.5 million Grafton Base Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre on Thursday, 13th August, 2020.

 

"There's never been a better time to acknowledge the value of health services to the community than right now in the middle of the pandemic."

The new building also features an under-croft loading dock, new links to the existing hospital campus, and a new public drop-off zone at the main entrance.

Mr Gulaptis said staff, patients, and consumers were heavily involved in the design and fit-out of the building to ensure the space reflects the clinical needs of the community now and into the future.

The services housed in the Ambulatory Care Centre include:

• oncology, chemotherapy and Haematology services;

• renal dialysis unit;

• physiotherapy;

• occupational therapy

• podiatry;

• speech pathology;

• fracture and osteo-fracture clinics;

• dietetics and nutrition outpatient clinics;

• occupational therapy outpatient clinics;

• outpatient clinics for patients with chronic conditions including cardiac and respiratory rehabilitation services, diabetes education and diabetes foot clinics.