NSW Labor today made a $32 million promise for Muswellbrook Hospital.
They have committed, should Upper Hunter by-election candidate Jeff Drayton be elected on May 22, $32 million to finish Stage 2 of the Muswellbrook Hospital redevelopment project.
Jefff Drayton said outside the hospital today that the National Party had completely stuffed up the redevelopment of Muswellbrook Hospital.
“The Upper Hunter sends billions down the freeway so Sydney can have state of the art hospitals and all we get in return is a surgical ward with no operating theatre. It’s an absolute disgrace,” he said.
“I’m going to fight for our share and that means we are going to commit $32 million to fix the debacle at Muswellbrook Hospital.”
"The Government stopped caring quite frankly, this isn't a Michael Johnsen promise, this is a George Souris promise. This is a promise that this party made more than ten years ago and here we are ten years on still trying to complete the next stage of the redevelopment."
"It's no wonder the Upper Hunter have told us they're tired of being treated how they are."
"During the part-construction of the second stage of the redevelopment by the current government, they built a surgical ward and an operating theatre, but the problem is that the operating theatre is empty so you go from the surgical ward into the operating theatre and it's empty," Jeff Drayton said.
Labor Leader Jodi McKay expressed dismay at the ludicrous scenario where the hospital has a surgical ward but no accompanying operating theatre – only a set of doors opening from the ward into a shell where the theatre should be.
“It seems former Nationals MP Michael Johnsen was too distracted to fight for the health services the people of the Upper Hunter so desperately need,” Jodi McKay said.
"We know that rural health right throughout NSW is being left behind. It depends on where your postcode is as to the level of healthcare you receive and here in Muswellbrook there's been certainly a lack of funding and a lack of will to actually improve the health services here,"
"We would love to see the Government make a commitment in the budget next month but we doubt they will because this has been around for such a long time."
"If we are fortunate enough to be elected in 2023 Muswellbrook will get the hospital that it deserves and I want to again thank Jeff for his strong advocacy because he says this is an issue that has been raised with him again, and again," said Jodi McKay.
Shadow Minister for Health Ryan Park said Muswellbrook deserves a better hospital, full stop.
"$32 million will be used to upgrade the general ward, it will be used to upgrade the maternity services in the maternity ward, it will also be used to make sure that there is an operating theatre adjacent to a surgical ward."
"It's unbelievable that a government would build a surgical ward without an operating theatre but this is a government that doesn't give a damn about rural and regional health services," said Ryan Park.
Image credit: Grant Broadcasters/Jessica Rouse and Jodi McKay MP office