Macarthur is set to have one of the world’s premier health care services following an injection of $632 million in government funding.
This contribution comes after last year’s Census revealed that the Macarthur region is the fastest growing area in NSW.
District Commissioner of Planning for South-West Sydney, Sheridan Dudley said the Macarthur region was in a unique position due to its population growth.
“The State Government has actually earmarked this extraordinary amount of money to create a ‘world best practise’ health care system in Macarthur,” Ms Dudley said.
Changes will include a further expansion of Campbelltown Hospital, that will see an upgrade of acute and paediatric services, as well as enhance the state’s leading mental health care facility.
The exponential population growth demands that state government departments, local government and industry leaders work towards developing major infrastructure to facilitate the region’s expansion.
The stage one development at Campbelltown Hospital was completed almost two years ago and established the facility as the largest health centre and single biggest employer in the Macarthur region.
However, with regional growth predictors expecting the population of Macarthur to grow to 500, 000 by 2036, further expansions at the hospital are a necessity.
The additional funding aims to meet the expectation of a fast-growing community seeking a high level of hospital care.
With Macarthur’s main area of growth being new release housing estates, younger families are attracted to the area, requiring an urgent upgrade to paediatric services.
Campbelltown Paediatrician Dr Richard Dunstan is anxious to see the work completed to meet the growing demand.
“The money being allocated to enhance and enlarge our paediatric service is a Godsend,” Dr Dunstan said.
“We are experiencing a growing number of children requiring treatment and care, so we desperately need more beds, doctors and nurses to accommodate their needs.”
Campbelltown Hospital midwife, Michelle Chalker said the maternity ward is stretched to the limit.
“We currently assist over 3,000 births per year and that number is expected to continue to grow as the region expands… these upgrades cannot come fast enough,” Ms Chalker said.
The community and hospital administrators are in negotiations over the developments plans.
The expansion is due to be completed in 2024.
Campbelltown Hospital has introduced two simulation manikins into its Special Care Nursery to train doctors and nurses in the care of premature babies. With seven per cent of all births at the hospital premature each year, staff are being educated on how to deal with unexpected situations.
The manikins have an adjustable heart-rate and respiratory-rate to ensure optimal training. They were purchased by the Kids of Macarthur Health Foundation for $60,000 and introduced into the hospital three weeks ago.