Minister says St George in good health with $41m hospital emergency department

Promised and delivered: Health Minister Jillian Skinner at St George Hospital. Picture: Jane Dyson
Promised and delivered: Health Minister Jillian Skinner at St George Hospital. Picture: Jane Dyson

State Health Minister Jillian Skinner had two important jobs to do when visiting St George Hospital on Thursday (October 16).

Mrs Skinner started the day at 9am by opening the St George and Sutherland Hospital Medical Research Symposium.

Held annually, the symposium is a venue for presenting and discussing research and topical issues relevant to clinicians.

Invited speakers addressed two pressing problems: maternity care in the Pacific and domestic violence closer to home.

‘‘Research is fundamental to what we do in the medical system and the symposium is a fabulous showcase for this,’’ Mrs Skinner said.

By 9.30am, the minister and entourage — including Banks MP David Coleman, Barton MP Nickolas Varvaris and Oatley MP Mark Coure — were at the hospital’s new emergency department for the official opening.

Mrs Skinner asked Mr Coure to unveil the plaque with her in recognition of his efforts to have the department built.

The $41 million department opened for business on Wednesday.

It was a happy end to a long battle for Mr Coure — a promise delivered.

‘‘It’s a great win for me personally,’’ he said.

‘‘Even before I was an MP, I lobbied Jillian Skinner as a Liberal candidate and Kogarah councillor.

‘‘I’ve lived here all my life and all my family and friends go to St George Hospital.

The old St George Hospital emergency department was one of the busiest in NSW: 68,000 people each year, with 25,000 admitted.

The new department includes five resuscitation bays, an acute hall with 34 treatment spaces, two designated fast-track zones, one for adults and one for children, an emergency medical unit, relocation of the psychiatric emergency care centre, satellite imaging, and an eight-space, off-street ambulance drop-off zone. 

There is potential for more storeys in the future.

Apart from mentioning the $300 million announced in June for Sutherland and St George hospitals, there were no new funding announcements.

Is this an example of politicians doing a good job?