By Shelby Brooks
LAST Tuesday, Bass MP Jordan Crugnale – alongside hospital officials – turned the first sod for the huge $115m hospital upgrade with a hand-painted spade representing the connection to the earth from Indigenous Wonthaggi artist Safina Stewart.
It marks the beginning of a new era in local healthcare and, just as important, lots more car parks.
“The shovel, and the spirit of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, will follow us through the journey of the hospital,” Ms Crugnale said.
Ms Crugnale was joined by Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child and Bass Coast Health chair Don Paproth.
“When I speak to people in the town, the thing they want to talk about most is not the quality of care or the food in the canteen – it’s the lack of car parking at Wonthaggi Hospital and when are you going to do something about it,” Mr Paproth said.
“Today folks, we start to do something about it.”
The new car park will make it easier for dialysis patients who travel from all corners of Bass Coast and South Gippsland to receive treatment multiple times a week.
The car park will be near the dialysis side of the hospital making the trip from the car to the hospital room and back significantly easier and safer.
“It’ll make it so much easier that we can come in the bottom doors and use the lift, rather than walking up those stairs and along the long veranda,” patient Tony O’Halloran of Korumburra said.
He travels to Wonthaggi Hospital three days a week to undergo dialysis treatment.
Along with the car park, three new operating theatres and procedure room, a new emergency department including 18 treatment spaces, and a new 32 bed in-patient ward will be built in later stages.
The project is due to be completed in 2023.