Labor will provide a $55 million upgrade of what they say is a "neglected" Fairfield Hospital if they win the state election.
Shadow health minister Walt Secord joined the areas three Labor MPs Hugh McDermott (Prospect), Guy Zangari (Fairfield) and Nick Lalich (Cabramatta) to make the announcement on Thursday which includes $5 million for urgently required works and the development of a long-term master plan for the hospital’s future.
"The Liberals/Nationals government has severely neglected Fairfield Hospital over the past eight years," Fairfield MP Guy Zangari said. "Despite local population growth, the government has failed to allocate any additional resources or services to meet the increasing needs of our community.
“The Berejiklian government is hell-bent on splurging billions on stadiums, yet our local residents are forced to suffer with aging infrastructure, insufficient services and an understaffed hospital."
Initial funding would be used to improve electricity supply, computer services, phone reception and install Wi-Fi. Short-term (three-years) the plan is to fix the lifts and maternity waiting room, establish a new discharge area and paediatric refugee clinic and upgrade the surgical theatre equipment. The master plan includes a new building for extra office space, patient areas and additional equipment and increasing the number of operating theatres from four to six.
Mr McDermott said Labor will also examine closure of the Fairfield Hospital GP Clinic and consider options for reopening it.
"This is one of the most over-stretched hospitals in the state," he said. “As a local resident and a father, I know how important having well-funded, high-quality health services are for our entire community.
"Fairfield Hospital is under enormous pressure, and just like local services all across western Sydney, it has been ignored."
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the budget for the South West Local Health District has increased by a "staggering" 52 percent to $1.8 billion since 2011-12.
“We have added more doctors, more nurses and allied health staff to Fairfield Hospital and over the next four years, we’ll deliver at least 822 new staff, including 114 doctors, 502 nurses and midwives to the Local Health District," he said.
“According to the most recent Bureau of Health Information figures, Fairfield Hospital has improved its performance with 99.9 per cent of elective surgeries now performed on time, which is better than the figures for the same quarter under Labor in 2010.
“Similarly, more than 75 per cent of patients presenting to the emergency department of Fairfield Hospital are now seen, assessed, treated and are leaving the ED in under four hours, compared to just 65 per cent under Labor."
Mr Hazzard said the government is delivering "world-class care" for Sydney’s south-west including a $7 million upgrade of Fairfield’s emergency department.
"Up the road we have invested a record $740 million to deliver a world-class health and academic precinct to Liverpool which will deliver thousands of jobs to the region," he said.
“Campbelltown Hospital will also have $632 million invested in it and we have more announcements to come. We have more than $8 billion in infrastructure projects in the pipeline over the next four year, tripling the former spend of Labor."
Mr Secord said Fairfield Hospital is the "most under pressure hospital" in NSW with the recent increase in refugee settlement.
“The Berejiklian government has the wrong priorities. Fairfield Hospital continues to be under enormous pressure because the Liberals and Nationals refuse fund it properly – they would prefer to spend that money on their $2.2b stadium splurge,” he said.
Labor has already committed to providing 5500 more nurses, 500 paramedics, 2240 cleaning, support personnel and allied health workers and 250 more security staff if they win the election.