Health Minister Jillian Skinner and Minister for Mental Health Pru Goward officially opened the $88 million Byron Central Hospital and mental health unit on Monday 9 May 2016.
They were joined by NSW Parliamentary colleagues, Northern NSW Local Health District Executives, Board members and staff, and local community members.
Mrs Skinner said Byron Central Hospital will transform health care in the Byron Shire.
“Hospital and ambulatory care patients will both be able to access expanded clinical and integrated services under one roof. The emergency department is now offering a higher level of emergency care than previously available in the district,” Mrs Skinner said.
“I thank the project team and Byron’s dedicated health professionals for delivering this long-awaited hospital to the community.”
Byron Central Hospital’s services include 24-hour emergency care in a state-of-the-art 14-bay emergency department, low-risk maternity services, enhanced x-ray and medical imaging, increased cancer care and an on-site pharmacy. New modern and spacious rooms allow for future capacity for up to 43 beds in the inpatient ward.
The purpose-built facility will also provide expanded integrated services for ambulatory care clients, with community and allied health services including a dental service with four chairs, physiotherapy and a rehabilitation gym.
Ms Goward said the new 20-bed sub-acute mental health facility was a first for the Byron Shire.
“The district now has a dedicated space to treat mental health inpatients and community mental health services are also available on-site. The Byron Shire has unique mental health needs and I’m pleased priority was given to these services as part of the redevelopment,” Ms Goward said.
Construction on the project finished at the beginning of March with the first patients anticipated in the new facility before the end of May. The new hospital replaces the older, smaller hospitals in Byron Bay and Mullumbimby and community health centres in Bangalow, Brunswick Heads and Ocean Shores.