The guarantee was sought and received yesterday by The Northern Daily Leader.
Opposition spokeswoman for health Jillian Skinner, who will become the minister for health should the Coalition
win government on March 26, signed the undertaking presented to her by The Leader when she was in Tamworth.
She said her visit to the city was specifically to address the scepticism which had emerged over the Coalition’s
commitment to the redevelopment of the hospital which had been made 10 days earlier.
The Leader sought the guarantee on behalf of the community because a new hospital had been promised four years
earlier by the state government but had not been delivered.
The guarantee, also signed by The Nationals endorsed candidate for the electorate of Tamworth, Kevin Anderson
states: “A NSW Coalition Government guarantees to provide a minimum of $110 million in its first term of office
for the staged redevelopment of the Tamworth Hospital. Further, a NSW Coalition government is committed to the
full redevelopment of the hospital in accordance with the Clinical Services Plan, and to this end will continue to
provide the funding as necessary to complete the project.”
In response to earlier specticism, Mrs Skinner said voters from the electorate of Tamworth had every right to
treat any pledges to redevelop the hospital with suspicion.
“Unfortunately a Labor government and independent representation at a local level hasn’t delivered,” she said.
She said the $100 million pledged by the Coalition was new money – part of $885 million identified by the
Coalition to fast-track hospital upgrades.
A further $10 million granted by the state government for refurbishing the maternity wing will be reconsidered for
the overall redevelopment of the hospital campus.
“I don’t think the Health Minister knew what he was doing when he gave $10 million to the maternity ward, when in
the Clinical Services Plan it will be pulled down with the relocation of the maternity ward closer to the
operating theatres,” Mrs Skinner said.
She said it would be a complete waste of money if the maternity ward was cleaned up, when the long-term prospect
was rubbing the ward out as part of the redevelopment.
The Tamworth redevelopment would rely on a Clinical Services Plan signed off on by the hospital’s Medical Staff
Council – which Mrs Skinner and Mr Anderson have seen – and a masterplan, which the Mrs Skinner said has been kept
at arms length from the opposition by the current government.
As soon as practically possible Mrs Skinner will – should the government change on March 26 – meet with local
health networks to discuss plans.
After 16 years as the Opposition spokeswoman for health, Mrs Skinner has a wide range of contacts in the health
bureaucracy and this meant effective and fast communication with departmental heads.