A rural block east of Moruya TAFE, between Albert Street and the Princes Highway, has been confirmed as the site for the new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital.
The site was announced by the Member for Bega Andrew Constance and NSW Health representatives on Monday (December 7) afternoon.
The new hospital will combine Eurobodalla’s two hospitals – Moruya District Hospital and Batemans Bay Hospital – and the chosen site will eventually have connectivity to the planned Moruya Bypass.
The bypass will allow people to travel from as far south as Tilba to as far north as Milton-Ulladulla to the Eurobodalla Regional Hospital.
NSW Health previously said the hospital would most likely end up in Moruya, either in an industrial area on the northern boundary of Moruya or at the chosen site.
Patients at Eurobodalla Regional Hospital will have access to a new emergency department; surgical and operating theatres; a day-stay surgical unit; ambulatory care for access to outpatient health services; and chemotherapy and renal dialysis. The total number of beds will also increase by 54.
Construction of the new hospital for Eurobodalla will begin in 2021 and will likely take 18 months to two-and-a-half years to complete, Andrew Constance said.
“It’s time to get on with this given that the [NSW Premier] Gladys Berejiklian and I announced this a number of years ago,” Mr Constance said.
The NSW Government committed $200 million to the development two years ago and promised work on the hospital would begin within the term of the current NSW Government, which ends in 2023.
Next steps include master planning, lodging a development application and contracting a builder, Mr Constance said.
Eurobodalla’s population is projected to increase from 37,968 people in 2016 to 40,617 by 2031. With a median age of 53.2 years, the region has one of the highest proportions of older residents in NSW.
Currently, Eurobodalla’s health service sends more than 40 per cent of patients to hospitals outside of the region because services cannot be provided locally.
Obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Michael Holland launched a petition for better accident and emergency services, critical care and perioperative (before and after surgery care) services in Eurobodalla in October 2018.
On Monday, he and other members of the ‘One New Eurobodalla hospital’ advocacy group welcomed the site announcement and said it will “provide equitable access to all residents of the Eurobodalla”.
“With the development of the new Moruya bypass, [the site] allows direct access to the hospital and Moruya Airport,” the group said. “The size of the site allows for future development and is secure from fire and flood.”
Stakeholders, health service staff and community members can visit the interactive site map to explore the preferred site location, provide feedback and ask questions.