Tracey Blandon, Angie Gittus, Cherie Austin, Ann Schefe and Louise Channells with Minister for Health Jillian Skinner (middle) at Murwillumbah Hospital.
Tracey Blandon, Angie Gittus, Cherie Austin, Ann Schefe and Louise Channells with Minister for Health Jillian Skinner (middle) at Murwillumbah Hospital. Nolan Verheij-Full

Offical opening of $1m Mur’bah emergency department

THE NSW Health Minister's official opening of the new $1 million Murwillumbah Hospital emergency department on Wednesday was conducted amidst a backdrop of earnest lobbying for the facilities children's ward to remain open.

Jillian Skinner and Lismore MP Thomas George, along with members of the local health board who will decide the fate of the ward, attended the ceremony for the two staged upgrade of the department which was completed a couple of months ago.

It includes a new ambulatory care entrance at the front of the hospital, a triage area, reception and waiting room with enhanced security, linkages to the rehabilitation unit, an emergency medical unit with three bed bays, a paediatric consultation room and general consultation and treatment room.

There's also an enlarged consultation and treatment room.

Minister for health Jillian Skinner at the Murwillumbah Hospital. Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Daily News
Minister for health Jillian Skinner at the Murwillumbah Hospital. Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Daily News Nolan Verheij-Full

"Once stage three is complete the emergency department will have nearly doubled in size... which I have no doubt will lead to better patient outcomes," Ms Skinner said.

She congratulated staff for the facility having one of the best performing EDs in the state and recently released patient results from the Bureau of Health and Information.

"Murwillumbah Hospital was the highest achiever within the Northern NSW Local Health District with 97% of patients having a good or very good experience," she said.

"I congratulate the staff on this fantastic result.

"Now you've got to tell everybody else how you do it so we get those results everywhere."

Inside medical officers were having quite conversations in the halls with the minister's staff lobbying for the children's ward to remain open.

Meanwhile outside, 60 parents and children had gathered to protest the potential closure of the ward.

Protest organiser Rebecca Blakeney told the crowd that as a mother of four children whose husband works away it was very concerning that their may no longer be appropriate health care in her home town.


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