The Griffith Base Hospital’s redevelopment is officially under way with the announcement of a new and improved temporary Renal Unit at Griffith Base Hospital, but some are concerned about the price tag.
Construction is expected to begin in late March and will see the unit expand from six seats to ten.
Funding for a $35 million development for Griffith Base Hospital was announced by NSW Premier Gladys Berejilkian in 2017.
Senior Project Director Amanda Bock said increasing demand had led to an “over-stretched” renal unit. The temporary development will move the site out of the way and also expand facilities within the unit. A training area will be added to teach patients to do dialysis at home.
“On that site there are a lot of little buildings in the middle that need to be moved out of the way so we can build a new hospital,” Ms Bock said.
“Whilst we were looking at the future development of the whole site there was a need to try and increase the renal service sooner. Part of what we do when we look at these developments is look at how we’re going to plan the site to build in the future.”
The unit is set to be complete in late 2018, weather and technical requirements permitting.
After looking at a number of ways to manage the project as efficiently as possible, Ms Bock says NSW Health Infrastructure will be bringing the new unit in from another regional hospital.
“A similar exercise was done at Tamworth Hospital and that was a custom-built service that used a modular style construction,” she said.
The transportable unit will be moved down to Griffith and upgraded to fit the service’s needs.
While Ms Bock says the move is being done as cost-efficiently as possible, some residents still hold concerns.
Save the Griffith Base Hospital committee member Brendan Catanzariti says he’s worried about the cost of moving the buildings eating into the Hospital’s upgrade budget.
”More chairs is an increase in what we’ve got. An increase in anything is better than a decrease. What’s the cost of getting all those things down from from Tamworth?”
He says the addition of four more chairs is a definite plus, but remains concerned over the project’s long-term future.
”In the short-term scheme of things, it’s brilliant but what will happen in a few years time? This would be more a step backwards and than a step forwards.”
General construction works are slated to take place between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.
A letter sent to residents by Lipman Pty Ltd who have been hired to complete the construction says “every effort” will be made to keep noise to a minimum.
“Like any construction site, there will be some noise and dust, however we will make every effort to keep this to a minimum and will try to finish the work as quickly as possible,” it said.
“When required, traffic control staff will be onsite to direct traffic.”
More details about the construction will be released in coming weeks.