The Northeast Health Wangaratta $22.9m redevelopment project was made official when Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes visited NHW yesterday to make the announcement.
Media statement made by the Premier’s Office on 15/04/2021: Work Begins On Wangaratta Hospital
Health Build: $22.9m hospital redevelopment to employ up to 100 in region.
Up to 100 North East and border based employees will work on the $22.9m Wangaratta public hospital redevelopment, with Zauner Construction officially starting work on the mega-project yesterday.
The 18-month project will deliver a 12-bed critical care unit, an eight-bed short stay unit, a new paediatric ward and additional medical beds to create two 20-bed medical units.
To meet future demand and ensure shorter waiting times for patients needing urgent care, the redevelopment will also deliver an upgraded emergency department with additional treatment spaces as well as an isolation room and behavioural assessment room.
Garry Zauner’s company Zauner Construction has built projects worth up to $80 million and said the Wangaratta Hospital project was a major win for the region, including Wangaratta based workers.
“We’ve got skin in the game, we’re a 65-year established company and we’ve been building in North East Victoria and regional NSW for that length of time,” Mr Zauner told the Wangaratta Chronicle yesterday. “All of the people live, work and breathe here so it’s fantastic and we’re very grateful and humble to be given the opportunity.”
The construction company has been working with the hospital for two months with pre-planning the project logistics and Mr Zauner said they’ve made sure what they do will have minimal impact on the hospital operations.
“There will be up to 100 jobs at any one time and the good thing about it is 99 per cent of them are all locally domiciled and we have our own Wangaratta team on the job who live and work in Wangaratta,” he said.
“When working at a live hospital there will be periods where we have to stop to enable critical activity to continue.”
Attorney General and Northern Victorian MP Jaclyn Symes turned the token first sod of the works yesterday which marked the upgrade to the emergency department as the first priority.
“It’s great to be here to speak to the hospital and the community about what these improvements are going to mean and I’ve always been a supporter of this hospital because they do fantastic things for Wangaratta and the broader region,” she said.
“As I’m from Benalla I know a lot of my family members have relied on the services of this important facility. “The Andrews Government wants to make investments in country hospitals in regional areas so people don’t have to get on the train and rely on facilities in Melbourne but rather we want people to access quality health care close to home.”
NHW interim chief executive officer, Fiona Shanks, said the redevelopment will make a diff erence to the level and quality of care the community receives. She said it will also make
it a better experience for all the clinicians working in the hospital.
“The need for our service is absolutely growing, for example, we average around 75 presentations in the ED (emergency department) per day and over the Easter period we got up to 140, almost doubling in peak periods,” she said.
“There are four separable portions of work and some of these will run slightly concurrently but predominantly we begin with the ED and that’s where the community will see most of the action first up.
“We have a team of people who will interface between the builders and clinicians so where there may be a challenge on any given moment or day there will be a team to support.”
This significant redevelopment has been made possible through the Andrews Labor Government’s $470 million Regional Health Infrastructure Fund (RHIF).
Article by Steve Kelly from the Wangaratta Chronicle