Web_D333813LEONGATHA Hospital has received all the ticks of approval and high praise from government ministers. Gippsland Southern Health Service CEO Gary Templeton walked through the facility with departmental parliamentary secretary Dr Pradeep Philip on Tuesday and Deputy Premier and Gippsland South MP Peter Ryan on Friday. Mr Templeton was thrilled to report the hospital was still on track to move in on September 23 in a staged event and handover the old hospital for demolition on October 7. The whole project, including demolition, installing 150 car parks and landscaping will be completed by around mid-year 2014.

The hospital, staff, builders and board received high praise from the two VIP visitors. “Simply magnificent” was how Peter Ryan described the new hospital on his third visit through the site. “The greatest feature of it is that it is a testament to the community commitment that has given rise to it as that’s what’s driven it. “It’s a great tribute to the people involved and the community of Leongatha and surrounds. “The other feature of it is that it highlights the fact that you must have a first class provision of healthcare services to ensure it continues to attract the people we need for our future, and to keep our future generations coming back. “It’s a great outcome and it will serve the region well for so long and that was the plan.” Dr Pradeep Philip was on his first visit to the hospital and was similarly impressed. “This is a significant investment into the community and the health needs of the community,” Dr Philip said. “What is most impressive about this build is that it is not just a health facility to meet the current needs of the community, but it is built for the future and the changing health needs. “We are confident it will lead to better health outcomes.”

Public open day
The new hospital will be open to the public for one day only on Sunday, September 29 from 10am to 2pm. Self-directed tours through the hospital will show visitors the main areas; at particular departments of interest, hospital staff will be able to answer questions on the new hospital. Visitors are asked to follow directional road signs to the new temporary entrance near Sloan Avenue; car parking is limited. The Lyrebird Auxiliary, which raises money for the two Gippsland Southern Health Service hospitals at Korumburra and Leongatha will have cakes and sandwiches for sale. Tea and coffee will also be available.