St George Hospital emergency ward receives $13m

Cashed up: Adam Chan is at the centre of St George Hospital's emergency department redevelopment, which received strong funding in the NSW budget.
Cashed up: Adam Chan is at the centre of St George Hospital's emergency department redevelopment, which received strong funding in the NSW budget.
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ST GEORGE Hospital was one of the region's big winners when the NSW budget was handed down this week.

The government budgeted $13 million in the new financial year for the planning and construction of a new emergency department at the hospital.

More than $35.5 million has been set aside for the project, which will see St George Hospital become one of the best equipped trauma centres in Australia.

Adam Chan, lead clinician overseeing the redevelopment of the Kogarah emergency department, said he was happy to receive word the money was forthcoming.

"It has been a very good piece of news for us," Dr Chan said.

"We anticipated that, but it's good to be made formal by the Premier."

Funding for the hospital upgrade was an election promise by the NSW coalition ahead of its win in the 2011 state election.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner said the O'Farrell government had been true to its word in its second budget and had kept its election pledges.

"This budget delivers on that promise with record spending on infrastructure that will see $1.2 billion spent on expanding and renovating hospitals around the state," she said.

Dr Chan said St George Hospital was overdue for an upgrade and would adopt trauma tactics, such as the ability to warm patients to more than 25 degrees in a bid to help them heal.

"It's important to realise that the current emergency department is 18 years old, which from a hospital emergency department perspective is quite an old department," he said.

"We'll be looking at providing individual heating and increasing our resuscitation beds from three to five.

"All five beds will have temperature control and heating."

The new department will also have a negative pressure room for contagious diseases. This will mean air can flow into the room but not away from it, which prevents cross-contamination in the hospital.

The number of paediatric emergency beds will increase from six to 14 and the centre will have a new entrance on Gray Street.

Tenders would soon go out for the upgrade and construction could start in early 2013.

"We have been seeking funding for a new emergency department for quite a few years now," Dr Chan said.

"We are really excited."

Do you think the St George Hospital upgrade is overdue?