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$5.3m hospital boost too little too late: Labor

Jenny Aitchison.The Liberal government’s commitment to delivering $5.3 million to Maitland Hospital is too little too late, Labor candidate for Maitland Jenny Aitchison has warned.

Last week NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner announced a multi-­million dollar investment to expand services at Maitland and Kurri Kurri hospitals to deliver enhanced care for patients and alleviate pressure on medical staff.

And while Ms Aitchison welcomed the funding, she did not believe it was enough.

“Every day, five new people come to live in Maitland,” she said.

“The population is exploding and the Liberals have failed to add one bed to Maitland Hospital in four years of ­government.

“The government promised $20 ­million for a new hospital before the election, but only about $6 million has been spent on planning, but nothing on the site,” Ms Aitchison said.

“The government indicated last year that the extra money could be spent on the new hospital, but now they are ­putting it into Maitland and Kurri Kurri hospitals, at least one of which they have vowed to close.”

The funding will deliver 16 additional acute-care beds at Maitland Hospital to boost clinical care for patients across the ­emergency department.

To create capacity for the beds, 12 rehabilitation beds will be moved from Maitland to Kurri Kurri Hospital to ­consolidate the region’s rehabilitation services and increase the beds on-site from 14 to 26.

Construction work will also be ­undertaken to expand the existing rehabilitation unit at Kurri Kurri Hospital while the physiotherapy department outpatient waiting room at Maitland Hospital will be expanded to improve patient comfort.

The project is expected to be ­completed early next year.

Hear what the candidates for Maitland have to say here

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