This week I visited the construction site of Sydney’s newest hospital with NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner.
Mrs Skinner and I announced Australia’s leading healthcare provider, Healthscope, had been chosen as the preferred operator to design, build and maintain the new Northern Beaches Hospital on a 6.5 hectare site at Frenchs Forest.
The hospital will be the first built on a greenfield site in Sydney in 20 years, and will deliver the best possible care to both public and private patients.
Let me assure you that public patients will access services at the new hospital in exactly the same way they do at any other public hospital in NSW.
It will be a modern, nine storey hospital, with 1,400 car spaces and a helipad – and will employ 1,300 staff, increasing the workforce by 400.
There will be 488 hospital beds, including more public beds, bringing the total number of beds across the Northern Beaches to 554. This bed increase will be supported by 14 operating theatres and a large 50-space integrated emergency department, state-of-the-art intensive care and critical care units, and modern inpatient mental health facility.
Partnering with Healthscope, one of Australia’s leading health care providers, is a smart solution and will allow Sydney’s newest hospital to be built faster, at less cost to the taxpayer.
The Northern Sydney Local Health District will enter into a long-term partnership with Healthscope to provide public patient services over the next 20 years. At the end of that contract period, the public portion of the hospital can be handed back to the NSW Government at no additional cost. Healthscope then has a further 20 years to provide services to private patients, before the remaining part of the hospital can also be returned.
Public and private patients will both be winners under this model. Public patients will no longer have to travel out of the Northern Beaches to other hospitals across Sydney such as Westmead for higher-order health care, while privately-insured patients will have easier access to this higher-order health care in a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility.
This Public Private Partnership will deliver more choice for patients, better services and a modern facility that is expected to open in 2018.
The project will be valued at about $1 billion, including $400 million in road upgrades that the NSW Government will complete before doors open in 2018. Additionally, it will also provide an economic boost to NSW, with 700 jobs created during construction.
We have all been waiting a long time for this announcement and next year we will start seeing the full scale construction of the Northern Beaches project.
I am proud that we are delivering on our promise to provide world-class health care facilities across Sydney.
Sydneysiders have been waiting decades for this hospital to get off the ground and I’m proud to announce the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is delivering.
Published in The Indian Sun, Sydney