SYNERGIES between health services are being spruiked by the State Government.
Health Minister Jillian Skinner and Member for Bega Andrew Constance this week announced further details for the new ambulance station to be built in Bega, first reported in the Bega District News in April (16/4).
Bega’s new $2.8million ambulance station will be built on the South East Regional Hospital (SERH) site.
At April’s official SERH sod-turning ceremony, NSW Ambulance Bega Valley district inspector Bob Whitney told the BDN the current Canning St station is over 50 years old and has been flooded for three of the last four years.
However, Mr Whitney said relocating would be beneficial for a number of other reasons as well.
He said both paramedics and patients will benefit from the closer proximity to complementary health services.
It will also allow for improved ambulance station access that doesn’t require negotiating the Bega CBD.
“And therefore we can respond a lot quicker,” Mr Whitney said.
Ms Skinner said construction of the new station is scheduled to start in early 2014, alongside main works for the new hospital.
“The NSW Government is committed to enhancing ambulance infrastructure across the state and the addition of a new station to the South East Regional Hospital site is a win for patients and paramedics alike,” Ms Skinner said.
“As Health Minister, I want to see better synergies between our hospital and ambulance staff and co-locations such as this one are ideal to develop better training, outcomes and relationships.
“This co-location of services demonstrates that NSW Ambulance and the Southern NSW Local Health District are working together to enhance the quality and coordination of care for patients."
Mr Constance said the new station will include six vehicle bays, a dual purpose wash bay and service area and workstations for staff.
“This is an exciting time for Bega and surrounding communities – work on our new hospital is underway and a new ambulance station will soon be under construction to support the needs of the community,” Mr Constance said.
“The NSW Government is investing in the future of health care for local patients and it is fantastic to see health facilities being enhanced in this region.”
Mr Constance said the new station is expected to be operational by the end of next year, with Bega paramedics moving from their current Canning St premises to the new site.
“It will be a considerable improvement on the current facilities and I’m sure local paramedics are looking forward to seeing their new workplace being built.”
The eventual move to the new station will not impact the delivery and continuation of NSW Ambulance services throughout the Bega Valley – stations at Bermagui, Merimbula and Eden will continue to respond to the community.
The $170.1million SERH is scheduled for completion in early 2016.