Hospitals across Western and South West Sydney are under immense pressure.
Residents have to wait longer to get an ambulance, longer to be treated in an emergency department, and longer for important elective surgeries.
Nurses and paramedics are over worked and understaffed. 1 in 5 of nurses are thinking about leaving their current patient care position within the next 12 months.
Meanwhile over 11,000 people left the emergency departments of the two Local Health Districts (South West Sydney and Nepean Blue Mountains) in the last quarter without getting any treatment.
“Camden residents have been crying out for this Government to build health infrastructure to reflect the unprecedented development,” Sally Quinnell, NSW Labor candidate for Camden.
So it’s welcome news that, should they win the next State election, a Labor Government under Chris Minns will commit $15 million to commence planning and site selection for a new public hospital in the Aerotropolis, securing the future of a new hospital that will service the largest growth area of Sydney over the coming decades.
“We’ve seen time and time again, new areas developed, houses built and people moving in, but the important infrastructure isn’t there,” Mr Minns said.
“And this has flow on effects because it puts pressure on health infrastructure and hospitals in the surrounding areas.”
The Western Parkland City region, will grow by over 360,000 people in the next 20 years – an increase of 32 per cent, making it the fastest growing region in the state.
For too long, families across Western Sydney have moved into new suburbs on the promise that crucial infrastructure will follow – but more often than not, they are left without roads, schools, or access to healthcare.
And without proper planning, it adds pressure to existing health services, in this case Nepean, Liverpool and Campbelltown hospitals who are already under severe stress.
Families will continue to move into this area over the coming decades, and this announcement will see the necessary health infrastructure planned for, with a site identified for a future hospital.
NSW Shadow Minister for Western Sydney and member for Campbelltown Greg Warren said that the planning for this should have already been done.
“But the truth is Western Sydney has been left behind by the Government,” Mr Warren said.
Nathan Hagarty, NSW Labor Candidate for Leppington, feels that, “whether it’s health, education or transport, the Liberals have let down local families in Leppington.”
Labor is also committing to planning and building new hospitals with a full campus model – which means a future hospital at the Aerotropolis will have a childcare centre, and healthcare worker housing, both on site.
Importantly, this is also a key outcome from evidence given at the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Current and future provision of health services in the South-West Sydney Growth Region, which recommended:
“That the New South Wales Government secure land within the Aerotropolis precinct for a future health facility that could expand children’s services to meet the needs of South-West Sydney, including the projected population in and around this precinct.”
“Reassessing this booming community’s needs in 2036 will be just too late, hundreds of thousands of people will already be requiring health services as the Aerotropolis grows,” said Ryan Park, NSW Shadow Minister for Health. “That’s why Labor will start the planning now.”
Labor has also committed to start a long-term plan to redesign and repair the health system and deliver a fresh start for health in New South Wales, already announcing:
- Returning 600 beds to Western Sydney after 365 were across NSW by the Liberals since 2016;
- Safe staffing levels in NSW hospitals to take pressure of nurses and ensure they can treat patients with the care they deserve and need;
- Upgrades to Canterbury, Fairfield, Mount Druitt and Blacktown Hospitals and opening the new Eurobodalla Hospital at Level 4;
- A commitment to build Rouse Hill Hospital including an emergency department;
- An additional 500 rural and regional paramedics in Labor’s first term.
“I’m determined to fix this. Under Labor I want people to have access to the education and healthcare facilities they deserve and are entitled to as soon as they move in – not years later,” Mr Minns said.
“It’s the least they can expect from their government.”