The new state-of-the-art New Maitland Hospital will open its doors to patients today, Wednesday 19 January 2022.

Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison said this project was one of the most successful community campaigns run in NSW.

“We started the fight for this hospital with an announcement of $20 million in funding on 17 February 2011 but no commitment to a fully public premises. In 2015, the government committed $25 million for a $400 million facility, and then in 2016 there was an admission by government that it would be one of five new hospitals in NSW to be funded privately.”

“Roll forward to January 2018, after 30,000 people had signed petitions calling for a fully public hospital, numerous debates in the NSW Parliament and several union and community rallies, we had a commitment that facility would be fully publicly funded.”

“The final cost of the hospital is now $500 million, including a $30 million car park with solar panels which will help save on electricity costs, as well as a rooftop helipad, a catheterisation lab for cardiac patients, emergency short stay, an MRI machine, COVID negative pressure rooms, six individual birthing suites with their own ensuite and birthing bath, an intensive care unit and chemotherapy chairs.”

“The New Maitland Hospital will increase the available bed capacity from 188 to 339, which is much overdue for our fast-growing community.”

“In addition to ample parking, public transport has already been improved with new routes servicing the hospital coming into operation last week.”

“This is a massive win forour community. Every single person in Maitland can drive past that hospital every day and feel proud and be reminded of what we all achieved.”

“Today will not be a day of cutting ribbons, it’s a day of hard slog for all of our hard working health staff that has been months in the planning. There has been logistical support from all hospitals across the network to help achieve what we believe is one of the biggest movements of patients in a peacetime setting.”

“I must give a huge thank you to all the health workers who will be involved from paramedics, ward’s people, security, cleaners, nurses and midwives and doctors.”

Even before it was completed the new hospital started to attract new specialists and health facilities to Maitland. Ms Aitchison said, the proximity of the new hospital to the private hospital will help attract specialists who work across both the public and the private system. We are already seeing new cancer services opening up.”

“I have been working with Paterson Federal MP Meryl Swanson trying to ensure that the MRI Machine at the hospital will have a full Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) MRI Licence but sadly to date the Federal Health Minister has not come to the party.”

“It makes absolutely no sense to have a state-of-the-art machine that can only be used for inpatients and emergency cases via the Emergency Department.”

“I will continue to advocate on behalf of our community to ensure we have access to Medicare funded MRI scans.”

DATE: WEDNESDAY 19 January 2022