MAJOR works at the Port Macquarie Base Hospital expansion project have been given the green light, with the project being given final approval by NSW Planning and Infrastructure, said Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams.
"Construction works on the $110 million State and Federal Government-funded expansion project are due to begin by the end of this year and tenders are set to be called shortly," Mrs Williams said.
"The upgrade of Port Macquarie Base Hospital will provide both the local community and the Hastings-Macleay Clinical Network with an expanded range of quality health services.
"Obtaining final approval means the expansion project will see the tenders being issued in August and the main construction works commencing later this year."
The expansion project will involve construction of a new three-storey building at the western end of the site adding approximately 12,000 m² of floor space to the existing hospital footprint (which is currently 18,000m²).
The tender process was also welcomed by the MP responsible for the $110 million funding, the Federal Member for Lyne, Rob Oakeshott.
Mr Oakeshott said the hospital's upgrade was the largest Commonwealth spend on health infrastructure in the region's history, and would change the way health services were delivered on the Mid-North Coast for decades to come.
"The redevelopment is the result of a lot of hard work by many good people at the base hospital and in our community," Mr Oakeshott said.
"But it also is the reality of negotiations that followed the 2010 federal election which are now delivering upgrades to 105 regional hospitals, including Port Base and Kempsey District."
The largest spend on a local hospital prior to the upgrade announcement was $80 million in 2005, also secured by Mr Oakeshott, to return the then privatised base hospital to public ownership.
"This unique opportunity will deliver the fourth and fifth pods to Port Base - 70 additional acute in-patient beds, a larger emergency department, additional operating theatres, a new critical care unit and cardiac cath lab, a new Day Procedure Unit, a new Medical Inpatient ward and a new Paediatric Ward.