12 July 2017

The NSW Government will ensure the Maitland community gets a new, 21st Century hospital with a wide range of health services for public patients, including life-saving cancer therapy close to home.

Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said after extensive consultation with the local community and staff and the Australian Medical Association, the NSW Government has decided a not-for-profit provider will be approached to build and run the state-of-the-art hospital, delivering first-class public health services.

“This is wonderful news for locals and staff,” Mr Hazzard said.

“The model that was proposed involving a private sector provider will not proceed.

“Under this arrangement, the NSW Government’s $450 million investment would be combined with substantial funds from the successful not-for-profit provider to ensure the people of Maitland get first-class public health services that go beyond anything the Government alone could deliver.”

President of the NSW AMA, Professor Brad Frankum, welcomed the decision being made on the future of Maitland Hospital.

“It is good to see the government is making good on it’s pledge to upgrade the hospital. We particularly welcome commitment to a hospital being able to offer a significantly expanded range of services. This is essential for the health of the community of Maitland and the surrounding districts,” Professor Frankum said.

Mr Hazzard said: “Over the past few months I have spoken with residents who wanted assurances that the new Maitland Hospital would deliver the best free public health care for patients, and this delivery model will do precisely that. There will be a much broader range of services, including intensive care and, for the first time, chemotherapy closer to home.

"Staff concerns have also been addressed.”

If, within 12 months of joining the New Maitland Hospital, staff apply and are successful for a permanent role in a NSW public hospital, the NSW Government will recognise prior service with NSW Health and service with the hospital provider for the purposes of long service leave, sick leave, parental leave and redundancy. This includes accrued sick leave balance with the hospital provider.

“By working with the not-for-profit sector, the NSW Government is opening up endless possibilities for the future care and treatment of the Maitland community.”

Additional services proposed to be provided at the new Maitland Hospital include:

  • new emergency department
  • more surgical theatres
  • mental health
  • maternity and paediatric care
  • palliative care
  • inpatient surgical beds.

“When the hospital gets underway it will also be a jobs bonanza for the region,” Mr Hazzard said.

“I’m told the building work will see about 1250 new construction jobs over four years, which will no doubt benefit the community, including a boost for Aboriginal apprenticeships.

“A bigger hospital and greater range of services will also mean more nurses and doctors can be employed – a great outcome for the community.

“This new hospital will act as a stimulus for greater investment and employment around Maitland for decades to come.”

The 42-hectare site located close to the New England Highway at Metford was chosen after an extensive selection process. Its size allows for future expansion, if required.

“The potential of this site is almost limitless and in the future may well attract a range of other health-related services. It is five times larger than the site on which a new hospital is being built in the north of Sydney,” Mr Hazzard said.

Work is due to commence by the end of 2017.