A fortnight ago, I used this column to announce construction the new Northern Beaches Hospital at Frenchs Forest had received the green light, and I’m pleased to now be able to provide an update on another major hospital building project in Sydney, the redevelopment of the Blacktown Mount Druitt Hospital.
I recently joined NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner on the roof of the new seven-storey Clinical Services Building at Blacktown Hospital for a traditional topping out ceremony, a European construction tradition held to mark the completion of the highest point of a structure. It also provides an opportunity to celebrate the work of builders and tradespeople involved in the project.
The upgrade of Blacktown Mount Druitt Hospital is the largest health infrastructure project being undertaken in NSW. The Clinical Services Building is the centrepiece of the $322 million project and the topping out marks a major milestone for the redevelopment.
We’ve come a long way since I stood at the site with the Health Minister shortly before construction began. At the time, the site was a sand pit, so it’s impressive that in just over a year builders have reached the top of the building.
This is great news for the people of Blacktown.
The Blacktown area is one of Australia’s fastest growing communities and this state-of-the-art hospital will help us meet their healthcare needs now and into the future.
The Clinical Services Building will include comprehensive care centres for cancer, cardiac, respiratory medicine and aged care. Every department is close to a lift, making it easier for patients and visitors to navigate their way around the building. Single patient rooms have unique visitor zones that are also designed to transform into overnight carer accommodation.
We are now looking forward to the second stage of the redevelopment, which will focus on overhauling the emergency department and operating theatres. The upgrade will also increase inpatient beds and boost maternity and paediatric services.
The hospital projects on the Northern Beaches and at Blacktown aren’t the only ones underway. The NSW Government has a record $5 billion hospital building program in place, and projects such as these are being repeated across the State.
In Western Sydney and South Western Sydney alone, we’re delivering on our promise to rebuild and redevelop hospitals neglected by Labor for 16 long years.
The first stage of Campbelltown Hospital, worth $134 million, is almost complete and planning is underway for stage two of the project. Planning is also well underway for the $400 million redevelopment of Westmead Hospital, as well as the upgrade of Bankstown hospital.
We are proud to be delivering the state-of-the-art hospitals people in Sydney and across NSW deserve.