Plans to attract healthcare professionals to regional areas by providing affordable accommodation will soon be rolled out in multiple locations across NSW including Finley, Leeton, Narrandera and West Wyalong.
The number of healthcare professionals in rural NSW has been dwindling for a number of years but the State Government is looking to overturn the worrying trend with a record $45.3 million investment.
Minister for Regional Health Ryan Park said the key worker accommodation would ensure new and visiting healthcare workers had fit-for-purpose, self-contained accommodation, enabling them to deliver essential healthcare services in rural NSW.
“It was really great to visit Broken Hill Hospital and see the site of this accommodation, and it has been made clear this will really benefit the hospital community,” Mr Park said.
“It will not just make a difference here, but across all the locations which have been selected. We know affordable and accessible accommodation is a key factor in attracting and retaining health workers at rural and regional hospitals.
“The new units will provide a safe and comfortable place for them to live close to work. As part of the planning and design process, there has been extensive consultation with clinicians who have experience living in key worker accommodation.”
The units will be fully furnished and equipped with all the necessities, including kitchens, bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms, living and outdoor areas.
Offsite construction of the accommodation units will commence in early 2024 after planning and design work has been completed.
The new units will be installed across the regions starting mid-2024 and are expected to become available to key workers in late 2024 or early 2025.
The accommodation project coincides with the current redevelopment of regional hospitals across the state including the $80 million Temora Hospital Redevelopment, the $25 million Finley Hospital Redevelopment and the $26.6 million Cooma Hospital Redevelopment.
Hutchinson Builders has been appointed to deliver the accommodation program across six sites including Broken Hill, Cooma, Leeton, Finley, Narrandera and West Wyalong.