Labor's $1.2 billion investment plan for Western Sydney health

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A Foley Labor Government will invest more than $1.254 billion into health and hospitals in Sydney’s west and south west – without the need to privatise the electricity network. 

By upgrading and rebuilding western Sydney hospitals, and expanding facilities, we will increase the number of beds and surgical procedures performed. This will free up hospital beds and reduce waiting times in emergency departments.

This is in the face of $3 billion in cuts to health and hospitals by the Baird Government and $15 billion by the Abbott Government.

Unfortunately, western Sydney patients have some of the longest waits in hospital emergency departments in the State – with Westmead, Blacktown and Liverpool hospitals being the most overworked emergency departments in the State.

The independent Bureau of Health Information reported that during the most recent quarter (October to December 2014) 48 per cent of patients waited more than four hours for treatment in these hospitals.

Labor’s western Sydney health plan includes:

  • $50 million for Fairfield Hospital upgrade including a re-design of the emergency department with specialised support for children and elderly patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
  • $100 million for a new Paediatric Surgical Centre at Campbelltown Hospital to respond to growing demand in the area – and will complement the Sydney Children’s Hospital network, which covers the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and the Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick. (Families in south western Sydney will be able to have paediatric surgery closer to home.)
  • $323 million for Concord Hospital for a new integrated Concord Cancer Centre, a new Aged, Chronic Care and Rehabilitation precinct, an expanded and refurbished emergency department, up to four new operating theatres, up to four new general wards and expanded Allied Health services.
  • $430 million for Westmead Hospital for a new emergency department, up to 14 new operating theatres, additional beds, state-of-the-art pathology service and co-location of all complex and critical care services.
  • $351 million in Nepean Hospital for an enhanced Comprehensive Cancer Centre with chemotherapy, radiation and oncology services, enhanced renal, cardiology and neurology services, a new high dependency unit, new and enhanced birthing suites and an enhanced emergency department.

All of these redevelopments will deliver additional beds to western and southwest Sydney. This could deliver up to 640 additional and replacement beds for western Sydney.

Western Sydney health and hospitals will also benefit from Labor’s investment in:

  • 840 additional nurses including 735 nurses in emergency departments and 105 nurses in paediatric wards.
  • 500 additional paramedics with the largest number of them to be located in western Sydney.
  • Southwestern Sydney will be the site of one of three 24 hour pharmacies to be set up to help parents with sick children and shift workers get access to prescriptions and medicines after hours.
  • Two of the four nurse Walk-in Centres will be based in western Sydney and will give people an alternative to queuing in busy hospital emergency departments.
  • Moving the Ministry of Health from North Sydney to Liverpool focusing the department on the growth regions of Sydney. 
  • Three additional paediatric surgeons at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Quotes attributable to NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley:

“Labor has a comprehensive plan to invest in better hospital and health services for the growing communities of western Sydney – and we will do it without privatising the electricity network.

“The Liberals have tied the upgrade of hospitals across western Sydney to their risky plan to privatise the electricity network. That is desperate blackmail to get communities in western Sydney to support this very unpopular policy.

“Labor will always invest in better hospitals and more nurses and paramedics because the chief responsibility of a responsible government is to look after our people when they are at their most vulnerable.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord:

“The Liberals have slashed $3 billion from health and the people of western Sydney are paying the price – nearly half of patients in western Sydney emergency departments are waiting longer than four hours to receive treatment.

“Labor’s infrastructure plan, A Better Way, unlocks $1.7 billion in additional funds to invest in health and hospitals – this is on top of the money available in the annual health budget for hospital upgrades.

“The lion’s share of the extra money we’ve unlocked for health services will be invested in upgrading the hospitals in Sydney’s growing western suburbs.

“Labor has shown that we can invest more money in better healthcare and keep the electricity network and the money it profits for hospitals, nurses and paramedics in the hands of the people of NSW.”

Read more about Labor's plan for Western Sydney health