Newcastle’s John Hunter Health Campus is in line for a $780-million redevelopment including a new acute services building to help provide healthcare for the region’s growing population.
The State Significant Development has won approval from the New South Wales government to redevelop and future-proof the healthcare precinct in the western suburbs of Newcastle, which currently regularly operates at 98 per cent capacity.
The government originally announced the John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct in 2019.
Architecture firm BVN said it would “deliver an innovative and integrated precinct” which would meet the future needs of residents in the Hunter.
“The John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct Project is being planned and designed with ongoing communication and engagement with clinical staff, operational staff, the community and other key stakeholders,” the BVN design report said.
According to town planners Ethos Urban, the redevelopment was a “significant investment in the Hunter region” and would deliver about 5500 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase, and ongoing health services jobs in Newcastle and the Hunter region.
“The proposal will facilitate the development of a new state-of-the-art health facility which will further support and strengthen the services and facilities provided at the hospital for the benefit of the Hunter New England Local Health District.”
The approved plans are for a new seven-storey acute services building to expand and enhance the emergency department, intensive care services, operating theatres, women’s services, a new rooftop helipad and increased car parking.
It also includes the refurbishment of existing buildings to provide additional inpatient units, a new Hospital entry canopy, new roads, a link bridge to the Hunter Medical Research Institute, and connections to the Newcastle Inner City Bypass.
NSW health minister Brad Hazzard said the redevelopment would significantly increase critical care capacity, with a 60 per cent increase in the Intensive Care Unit capacity, and almost 50 per cent more operating theatres.
“The precinct will drive innovative collaborations between the health, education and research sectors, ultimately improving patient outcomes for communities in the Hunter region,” Hazzard said.
Hazzard officially opened a $194-million clinical services building at Coffs Harbour Hospital earlier this month.
“This is an incredible transformation of critical health care for the Coffs Harbour and surrounding communities, which will now benefit form a much larger emergency department, additional operating theatres and inpatient beds,” Hazzard said.
“The NSW government is committed to providing world-class health care to all NSW residents, no matter where they live.”