Mr Scully told NSW Parliament on 6 May 2021 that the Illawarra’s health and hospitals is a “system virtually on life support” unless quick investments were made to help the medical professionals coping with increasing patient demand.
“I am pleased to have secured these investments to deliver new health facilities and services to my local community.
“Wollongong Hospital is under constant and significant pressure with the longest waiting times for elective surgery of up to 17 months and the longest median waiting times in NSW for treatment at its emergency department.
“The investment to refurbish and make up to 30 more beds available in the Wollongong Hospital ‘ghost ward’ will help relieve some of this pressure on our dedicated health professionals, patients and their families”, he said.
Mr Scully said he was pleased that a new purpose-built community health facility would be built at Warrawong as part of a plan to transition existing services from the ageing Port Kembla Hospital.
“The Warrawong community deserves a new 21st century health facility to meet their local health needs replacing a hospital built nearly 60 years ago”, he said.
Mr Scully also said a new ambulance station to be built at Fairy Meadow would help improve ambulance response times.
“This is the first time an ambulance station has ever been built in Fairy Meadow.
“The new ambulance station and its personnel will help support the Bulli and Wollongong ambulance stations further strengthening coverage across the Illawarra”, he said.
The site selection for the new Shellharbour Hospital has also been announced today.
The new hospital will built alongside land near Shellharbour Junction station and on the M1 Motorway at Dunmore.
Mr Scully said the new hospital once built would help take further pressure off Wollongong Hospital.
“We need to tackle waiting times for elective surgery because behind every single statistic is a person in great pain and serious discomfort waiting and waiting for treatment.
“These new facilities and services will be a boost to health and hospital professionals in the Illawarra and they are the result of lobbying the Government over the last 18 months and presenting a networked health care plan for the region that made sense for health professionals and patients”, he said.
Mr Scully said the boost to health care in the Illawarra also included a specialist cardiothoracic surgery service to open later this year, which will mean closer to home treatment for patients rather than in Sydney.
He said today’s announcements were the result of months of bipartisan work between the region’s Labor and Liberals MPs and the Minister for Health and Medical Research, Brad Hazzard.
“This has been a very good example of very good, cooperative, bipartisan collaboration among my Parliamentary colleagues and the Minister”, Mr Scully said.