7 December 2020

Site revealed for new $200m Eurobodalla Hospital

| Hannah Sparks
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Michael Holland, Andrew Constance and Liz Innes were at today's announcement.

Obstetrician and gynaecologist Michael Holland, Member for Bega Andrew Constance, Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes and Southern NSW Local Health District board member Russell Schneider at today’s announcement of the new hospital site. Photo: Alex Rea.

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.

READ MORE Doctor says no guarantee of new Eurobodalla hospital for 10 years

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.

A map of the site selected for the new Eurobodalla Hospital.

The new Eurobodalla Hospital will be located near Moruya TAFE. Photo: Google Maps.

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.

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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.

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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.

Celebrations at the announcement of the new Eurobodalla hospital site. Photo: Alex Rea.

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.

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If they take away the hospital from Batemans bay, how are the older people going to get to the new Moruya Hospital? Has the NSW Government considered an advanced ambulance system for Batemans bay considering the aging population? Just as they do in the ACT, can Ambulance, Fire and SES have a new compund built for ease of operation and to ensure there will be enough emergency services so the absence of a hospital in Batemans bay doesn’t cost the lives of people who have to travel further just to make a politician that quit the job feel better about himself.

Lynne Montgomery2:42 pm 08 Jan 21

We live at South Durras and we retired here thinking that there would be a hospital at Batemans Bay. We are 45 minutes away from a hospital if Batemans Bay is closed. Will the ambulance station at Surf Beach also be moved to Moruya? Private practices are not open on th weekends. So if a person has a cardiac arrest on a Sunday, first it will take an ambulance 40 minutes because they can speed to get to either Durras or Long Beach, then it will take another 40 minutes to get to the hospital. Are we supposed to just die?
Batemans Bay has the largest population on the far south coast. It also swells to 4 times that during school holidays. It is ludicrous to not have emergency medical facilities in a tourist area.
The federal government is moving to decentralising with more people from Canberra working from home. At present many younger people are looking for homes in Batemans Bay and it’s environs, houses for sale are being snapped up. The population will expand exponentially.
Batemans Bay and Moruya hospital are currently located on very valuable land. The new hospital will be located on much cheaper land. So the net cost will be much lower, sufficient to run a smaller hospital in Batemans Bay specialising in emergency and critical care.
If Batemans Bay hospital is to be closed, it is necessary that we at least have an emergency department with short term intensive care facilities.

Half of it’s a swamp

Jeff de Jager7:21 am 09 Dec 20

No other council representatives? How come?

Jacqueline White3:32 pm 08 Dec 20

This is wonderful for future health . I REALLY WANT TO find out what will happen to the excisting Moruya Hospital . I strongly hope it will be still a public health facility . IT has a lot of great buildings and care there . WE are sorely lacking for any hospice care for people at end of life care . Thank you

Expected I guess. But who would of thought that our administrative professionals could have possibly concluded that the bulk of future health care demand in our region would be generated more from within the smaller and glacially expanding population of Moruya and not from within the obviously larger and more rapidly expanding urban area of Batemans bay.
If future statistics show that 60%+ of beds and emergency admissions are from residents of Batemans Bay or visitors residing in the Batemans Bay area, would this location choice still be defended?
I await the avalanche of parochial Moruya/Narooma protest.

Graham Pratt9:53 pm 07 Dec 20

Fantastic… a lot more jobs and more families moving into the area which we need .. Well done for the hard work done by so many people…🙏

Ilona Markovits9:13 pm 07 Dec 20

Thank You Dr Michael Holland for all of your hard work. I sincerely hope the community appreciates all of the work you have put into securing this facility for the people of our Shire. Remembering also those who shared your vision. ❤

A new hospital is fine, but like Bega, a new hospital is just a building. Its not a functioning hospital unless it has the right amount of staff. I recently spent a few days in Moruya hospital, and it was evident, the staff were over worked. You cannot care for people unless you have staff that can work properly, not doing extra long shifts to get people back to something like normal. Fund the staff as well as the building.

Very excited for all on the Coast with this announcement today. The much needed Level 4 Hospital will be a game changer for locals and seasonal visitors alike.
Congratulations and thanks, to all who’ve already done the hard yards to get this project from being on a wishlist to site selection! Looking forward to what’s next.

I agree with the location being the most logical choice as it will be accessible to all residents North and South in the Shire. I implore the government to build it as a level 4 as the suitable level required especially to provide intensive care, and also stop the need for so many residents travelling to Canberra or Sydney for specialist treatment.

Agree to both statements.
Re the patients travelling to Canberra etc, the wear and tear on those patients must be a factor in deciding whether to relocate them or not, so that must result in reduced level of care…

And as for the location, this will be a wonderful employment oportunity and so help increase Moruya’s population.
Batemans Bay is already over developed (in the wrong way) and putting the hospital there would only result in more innappropriate develoment.
(BTW, I am from the Batemans Bay end of eurobodalla).

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