$500m spend on rural, regional NSW health
Health services in regional and rural NSW will receive a boost of half a billion dollars, the state government has announced.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the government was focused on ensuring rural communities get their share of health upgrades.
The $500 million spend includes $111.5 million for a redevelopment of Cessnock Hospital.
A new hospital at Eurobodalla on the state's south coast will get $60 million, on top of $200 million already set aside for its construction.
There's also funding for Finley Hospital in the NSW Riverina, an expansion of cancer services at Wyong Hospital, and equipment upgrades in western NSW.
"We have delivered more than 110 health projects in regional NSW since 2011 with another 70 currently underway and we are continuing to get the job done," Mr Perrottet said on Saturday.
Deputy Premier Paul Toole trumpeted the government's investment in rural infrastructure, which has already seen $900 million set aside in 2021-22.
Mr Toole said the government's vision is for regional communities to be the best place to live.
The spending pledge comes ahead of further hearings in a parliamentary probe that has shed light on serious problems with access to healthcare in the regions.
The parliamentary inquiry has travelled around the state this year, hearing tales of understaffing, long wait times and a lack of supplies.
It sits again on Thursday, when community leaders from Walgett and Broken Hill will tell politicians about their experiences.
Public health experts, farmers and the NSW mental health commissioner are among the witnesses slated to appear on Friday.
In a sign of the interest in its subject matter, the inquiry has received more than 700 submissions.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the government was building better health services across the state.
"We know we need to get the right health infrastructure in place so our medical professionals can provide the care and support people in the regions need," he said.
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