MP thrown off hospital grounds over demolition plans

3 minute read

Murray MP Helen Dalton has expressed outrage after being forcibly removed from the grounds of her local facility while filming a PR campaign.

Murrumbidgee LHD has issued a response following a controversial visit by Murray MP Helen Dalton to Griffith Base Hospital earlier this week.

Mrs Dalton and several members of a film crew were filming a public relations segment speaking out against the scheduled demolition of several buildings as part of the hospital’s $250 million redevelopment when they were escorted off the premises by hospital personnel and security.

Mrs Dalton subsequently uploaded footage of the incident to Facebook alongside an irked response expressing her disbelief at what had taken place.

In a statement issued to Health Services Daily, Murrumbidgee LHD said MPs wishing to visit a local public health facility were required to give prior notice to the chief executive of the relevant LHD as a matter of NSW Health policy.

“NSW Health has a primary and ongoing duty to ensure appropriate, confidential, and timely care to patients who attend our facilities and to maintain the privacy of our patients and our staff … MPs regularly visit health facilities in MLHD and throughout the state under these longstanding arrangements,” the spokesperson said.

“Murrumbidgee Local Health District is always willing to meet with local MPs to talk about the community and its healthcare needs.

“We acknowledge the important role local MPs play in advocating on behalf of constituents for local health services.”

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NSW Health Infrastructure are currently overseeing the Griffith hospital redevelopment, which aims to deliver a new three-story clinical services building with an emergency department, operating theatres, medical imaging, outpatient care, aged care and rehabilitation services by early 2025.

A spokesperson for NSW Health Infrastructure told Health Services Daily the “majority” of buildings currently situated on hospital grounds had exceeded their “useful life” and needed to be demolished to make sufficient space for on-site parking and for overall ease of access to the new hospital.

“When construction of the new three-storey Clinical Services Building [is] complete, all services will transfer to the new building and work will focus on the demolition of redundant buildings, carpark construction, refurbishment of the Ambulatory Care Hub to accommodate community-based services, and extensive landscaping of the health campus,” the spokesperson said.

“The existing buildings on the campus have reached the end of their useful life. To provide the community with appropriate on-site parking and direct access to the new hospital, the majority of buildings will need to be demolished as part of the redevelopment.

“The Dental Clinic and Clinical Education and Training Centre at Griffith are not included in the scope of the Redevelopment.”

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