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Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis and Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research Brad Hazzard met with Acting Nurse Unit Manager of the Surgical Services Ward Casey Bennett (l) and registered nurse Lesa Hayes (r). Image: contributed

Health Minister tours new Ambulatory Care Centre

The Clarence Valley welcomed a special visitor on April 9 when Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research Brad Hazzard toured the new $17 million Grafton Base Hospital Ambulatory Care Unit and inspected other areas of the facility including the surgical ward, ICU and emergency department at the invitation of Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis.

Northern NSW Local Health District Chief Executive Wayne Jones, Board Member and local Anaesthetist Dr Alan Tyson, and Clarence Health Services General Manager Dan Madden also joined the Minister and Mr Gulaptis as they walked through the new facility which was officially opened in August, 2020.

Mr Hazzard was in the Northern Rivers region last week to announce the construction of a new ambulance station in Casino as part of the NSW Government’s $232 million Rural Ambulance Infrastructure Reconfiguration Program.

The visit presented the Minister with a terrific opportunity to see the benefits of the new Grafton Base Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre for patients and staff.

Mr Gulaptis said the new $17 million facility is a stark contrast to the old facility at Grafton Base Hospital and he gave the Minister a clear picture as to why a total rebuild of Grafton Base Hospital was a high priority.

“I’m delighted the Minister had a direct opportunity to see that the rebuild is warranted and that the health budget will be well spent at Grafton Base Hospital,” he said.

Planning funding was allocated in the last State Budget to ensure the NSW Government gets the planning completed in preparation for proceeding to the clinical services planning and master planning for the new hospital.