LABOR TO FUND A $9 MILLION IMPROVEMENT TO CANTERBURY HOSPITAL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT

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A Foley Labor Government will fund a $9 million upgrade of Canterbury Hospital’s emergency department and undertake planning to provide the resources required to cope with the expected population growth in the area.

State Labor’s funding commitment will allow for desperately needed upgrades to expand and refurbish the hospital’s emergency department to accommodate more patients.

The refurbishment will make at least 10 extra beds available in the emergency department.

Funding will also be allocated to plan for an eventual expansion of the maternity ward with additional obstetric beds and delivery beds to cater to the increasing number of births. Planning will also take place for a dedicated aged care, geriatric medicine and rehabilitation unit.

The NSW health and hospital system is under enormous pressure with State-wide elective surgery waiting lists growing and patients longer waiting in emergency departments.

The funding promise would be delivered in Labor’s first term of government.

In the past year, more than 40,000 patients have visited the emergency department with that number predicted to surge as the population increases under a wave of newly built high density residential dwellings.

The population in the Canterbury area is expected to increase by more than 65,000 residents in the next decade and by more than 100,000 by 2026.

The booming population has already pushed the hospital to its limits with the median waiting time for non-urgent elective surgery blowing out to 255 days. Some patients have been forced to wait as long as 345 days. The median waiting time for a total knee replacement is 320 days.

Currently, there are more than 1000 patients waiting for elective surgery at Canterbury Hospital – as of the end of June.

Labor’s upgrade will be the first major refurbishment and expansion of the hospital since former Labor Premier Bob Carr opened the revamped hospital in November 1998 after an $80 million investment.

Quotes attributable to Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“Labor has a proud history of providing high quality health care services for the Canterbury community. It is a legacy that will continue under a Foley Labor Government.

“The population in Canterbury is only going to become greater in years to come so it’s crucial that the resources the community needs are built now.”

Quotes attributable to Labor Candidate for Canterbury Sophie Cotsis

“The community desperately need an upgraded hospital to make sure current and future residents have all of the health care services they need.

“An upgrade of the hospital is an issue that is regularly brought up by locals when I’m out doorknocking and meeting members of the community.

“Under a Foley Labor Government an upgraded hospital in Canterbury will become a reality for the growing population.”

 Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Health Walt Secord

“Waiting times at Canterbury Hospital have already swelled to 345 days for some patients; unless resources are provided now that statistic will only get worse.

“An upgrade of the emergency department will go a long way to relieving the pressure on Canterbury Hospital.”