VIDEO: Preview what upgraded Base Hospital will look like

THE final stage of Lismore Base Hospital's major redevelopment is set to start as early as mid-2016, NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner said yesterday during a visit to Lismore.

The $180 million Stage 3B, which will build on the current $80 million Stage 3A, has now received planning approval which follows the NSW Government's pledge during the March election campaign to fully fund it.

Ms Skinner inspected the construction site of Stage 3A alongside Lismore MP Thomas George yesterday to make the announcement.

While Ms Skinner would not make a definitive prediction on its finish date, Mr George said he expected the final stage to be completed before the 2019 election.

Meanwhile, the first stage of the huge redevelopment is scheduled to open by mid-next year.

CLOSE INSPECTION: Health Minister Jillian Skinner and Northern NSW Local Health District chairman Dr Brian Pezzutti visiting the construction site at Lismore Base Hospital yesterday.
CLOSE INSPECTION: Health Minister Jillian Skinner and Northern NSW Local Health District chairman Dr Brian Pezzutti visiting the construction site at Lismore Base Hospital yesterday. Mireille Merlet

The ground floor of the new building features a new emergency department four times the size of the old one, plus expanded ambulance bays, a new dialysis unit, pathology unit, and medical imaging facilities.

Ms Skinner said the hospital would be a "beacon for health care across the Northern Rivers".

It even comes with a helipad on the roof.

Alongside the green light for Stage 3B, planning approval has been granted for the hospital's new $9.3 million 500-space car park.

Ms Skinner said 260 of those car parks would be ready for use to coincide with the opening of Stage 3A next year.

She added that car parking was almost as essential as the hospital itself.

Mr George said he was ecstatic the new emergency department and car park would be ready within 12 months,.

"I'm sure people will appreciate in some instances the opening of the car park more than the hospital," he joked.

Stage 3B will then expand critical care services through the new building to include new operating theatres, maternity services, new inpatient beds, medical imaging, paediatric beds and outpatient areas.

Timeline for works at hospital

  • Stage 3A will feature a new emergency department four times bigger than the old one with an expected opening in early- to mid-2016.
  • As of April, this first stage was 59% complete.
  • Stage 3B, which will fill out the five-storey tower, will start immediately following the opening of Stage 3B and continue for the following three years with an expected completion date of 2019.
  • This final stage will expand critical care services to include new operating theatres, maternity services, new inpatient beds, medical imaging, paediatric beds and ambulance/outpatient areas.
  • It will be topped with its own helipad.
  • The five-storey tower which houses the new facilities used a quantity of steel weighing the same as three jumbo jets, and enough concrete to fill three Olympic swimming pools.

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