Health Minister flags new operating theatre for Ballina

BALLINA Hospital could receive extra funding for a new operating theatre, instead of refurbishing its small, ageing facility.

State Health Minister Jillian Skinner said $4.5 million had been allocated for the theatre's refurbishment, but planning would have to continue before a decision on extra funds could be made.

"The outcome of the planning stages will determine whether more money is needed," she said.

"It would be guesswork because the planning has not been considered yet. I believe the planning will be through by the end of the year."

Ballina surgeons are calling for an extra $2.3 million funding for the new theatre.

Mrs Skinner was also asked whether she was concerned local health workers may be struggling to maintain their own wellbeing.

This followed recent comments by Local Health District chief executive Chris Crawford, who accused workers of taking leave because of bad lifestyle habits.

Ms Skinner shied away from the question.


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