Work on the construction of Cobar’s new $30million multipurpose health service officially got underway on Tuesday with State Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries turning the first sod of dirt on the site.
Building contractor Hutchinson Builders, in conjunction with two local earthworks companies, began work to clear the site adjacent to the Lilliane Brady Village (LBV) last week.
Mr Humphries joined Cobar Health Service staff, health council members, deputy mayor Peter Abbott, council and LBV staff along with aboriginal elder Joan Evans at the build site on Tuesday morning.
Mr Humphries said Cobar was a fantastic example of where the traditional health service has evolved to become an integrated health care model.
He said there will be many benefits having the new multipurpose health service co-located with the existing LBV aged care facility.
“This co-location will provide benefits for staff, residents, and patients by providing greater capacity to meet the increasing demand for residential aged care services in a home-like environment, and delivering a range of health care services in a purpose-built facility,” Mr Humphries said.
“It has an emphasis on aged care but it also has an emphasis on treating people in an integrated health model in which Cobar has led the way.
“Doctors here aren’t practicing in isolation, health professionals in our system aren’t practising in isolation.
“It is a good example of how communities can get it right.
“Apart from that it is providing a fantastic stimulus employment-wise in the area,” Mr Humphries said.
Cobar Health Council chair Gordon Hill said the new hospital “had been a while coming”.
“We look forward to seeing the building move forward in leaps and bounds.
“It’s going to be a great improvement for Cobar in terms of the medical services provided and also the increase in aged care,” Mr Hill said.
The new facility is expected to be completed in early 2020.
The redevelopment project is part of a NSW-wide $300million program of works to upgrade existing or build new Multipurpose Service facilities at a number of rural and remote communities.