Recently I had the pleasure of joining some of our hardworking Sutherland Hospital staff as one of their dreams for better health care in the Shire took a step towards becoming a reality.
The sod turn to mark the start of construction of the new operating theatre complex and MRI suite at Sutherland Hospital is just one step in years of dreaming, advocating and planning that began with the vision of our experienced health care staff.
My colleague the Health Minister said at the sod turning that he knows from friends in the area that Sutherland Hospital is a cornerstone of our local community. They know it's there, they feel secure and they know that the doctors, nurses and all of the health staff are part of their community.
It's been a torrid 18 months right across the health system. I'm sure the challenging and rewarding days our Sutherland Hospital staff and volunteers experience every time they turn up to work went to a whole new level during lockdown, with infection control and precautions like we've never seen thanks to COVID-19.
While most of us were locked down and largely away from transmission of the virus, our health staff continued to do their job, and do it extremely well, with a level of professionalism that we're all so thankful for every time we turn off the Kingsway at Caringbah and drive through the hospital gates.
Of course, while the bricks and mortar and state-of-the-art technology play a big part in providing high quality care, it's the people who work in a hospital who make it a great hospital. Thank you to all of the staff and volunteers at Sutherland Hospital for the wonderful care that you've given our Shire community over this period, and indeed over the 63 years the hospital has been there for us. Thank you for your vision, thank you for caring.