Health reform delivers over 40 beds for Illawarra and Shoalhaven

Patients in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven will benefit from better access to more subacute hospital beds including improved rehabilitation, palliative care and mental health services as a result of the Gillard Government’s historic national health reforms.

Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon today joined Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird, and Member for Throsby, Stephen Jones at Wollongong Hospital to announce new beds and equipment for local hospitals.

“The new beds and services will deliver a better deal for patients right across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven,” Minister Roxon said.

“Health reform will deliver over 40 beds to the region – 20 rehabilitation beds and 5 palliative care beds for Wollongong Hospital and 20 subacute mental health beds at Shoalhaven.

“On top of the beds announcements, the Government’s health reform has delivered new anaesthetic machines for both Shoalhaven and Shellharbour hospitals.

Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird, said that the Government’s health reform was delivering over $100 million in health investments for the Illawarra.

“Today’s announcements are great news for local patients and will see a significant increase in the services provided at Wollongong Hospital,” said Ms Bird.

Member for Throsby, Stephen Jones, welcomed the new investments that are in addition to significant investments to cancer services.

“Health Reform is also delivering for cancer patients in the Illawarra with substantial investment being made in two cancer centres, one at Wollongong where the Commonwealth is investing $12.1 million, and one at Shoalhaven which will receive $23.8 million,” said Mr Jones.

“These investments showcase how health reform can provide new and better care for the Illawarra,” said Minister Roxon.

Today’s announcements are part of over $100 million of investment by the Gillard Government for new beds and more elective surgery in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven communities, including:

Hospital Investments • $24.2m for 19 emergency department beds at Wollongong Hospital • $20.9m for 20 rehabilitation and five palliative care beds at Wollongong Hospital • $18.5m for 20 subacute mental health beds at Shoalhaven Hospital • $5.5m for two High Dependency Unit beds at Wollongong Hospital • Over $1m for new surgical equipment at Wollongong, Shoalhaven and Shellharbour Hospitals.

Cancer Investments • $23.8m for the Shoalhaven Regional Cancer Centre • $12.1m to expand the existing Illawarra Cancer Centre at Wollongong • Breast Care Nurse Shoalhaven

Other investments • $9.5m for the Shellharbour and Nowra GP Super Clinics • $5m for the construction of a training facility and student accommodation adjacent to Wollongong Hospital • $1.45m to four medical centres to expand their practices. • 14 GP registrars and 7 specialist trainees