City support for hospital growth plan

Maitland Private Hospital is poised to develop an intensive care unit and chemotherapy suiteafter Maitland councilvoted to refer expansion plans to the Joint Regional Planning Panel.
Nanjing Night Net

Councillors voted unanimously on Tuesday night to make a submission to the panel indicating its support for the proposa,l which will include a new 25-bed surgical ward, alterations to incorporate anintensive care unit and achemotherapy ward.

The project would also include the demolition of some houses to accommodate 28 additional car parking spaces.

The application has been referred to the planning panel because the proposed cost of the development is more than $5million.The proposal, if approved, will result in 172 hospital beds on site.

Councillors had little debate on the matter, which was moved by Cr Peter Garnham.He said council hadalways known that the private hospital, on the corner of Chisholm Road and the New England Highway at East Maitland, would continue to grow.

Cr Arch Humphery said the application was an indication of the demand for health services in the Maitland area. He said there hadbeen difficulty developing the facility in the pastdue tosome site constraints.

Fairfax Media reported in May thatMaitland Private Hospital was toreceive a $25 million upgrade that wouldinclude an intensive care unit and a chemotherapy suite,two theatres and associated services, a new 24-bed ward and more parking.The upgrade is expected to create 50 more jobs in the hospital.

The announcement came after Healthe Care, the company that owns the hospital, was sold to China’sLuye Medical Group.Healthe Care CEO Steve Atkins said the upgrade wouldmake chemotherapy and intensive caremore accessible for people in Maitland and the Upper Hunter.The additionis part of a wider cancer project at thehospital.

Mr Atkins told Fairfax Media in Maythe plan wasto acquire houses behind the hospital to transform into a cancer institute.“We’re keen to develop a more comprehensive cancer service, which we’re really excited about,” he said.

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