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Health Ministers to turn the sod to commence construction of St Vincent's Private Community Hospital Griffith, Sunday March 1, 2015

March 2015

The partners of St Vincent's Private Community Hospital Griffith (SVPCHG) will hold a Ground Breaking and Blessing ceremony at the future hospital site on Sunday March 1, 2015.

Federal Health Minister the Hon. Sussan Ley, as well as her State counterpart NSW Health Minister the Hon. Jillian Skinner will join Federal Member for Riverina the Hon. Michael McCormack and NSW State Education Minister the Hon. Adrian Piccoli and Member for Murrumbidgee, NSW Health officials, St Vincent's Health Australia Chairman Paul Robertson AM, and senior St Vincent's Executives, Griffith Mayor John Dal Broi, councillors and staff, to turn the sod to commence construction of the new hospital. The ground-breaking ceremony will also involve a special blessing and smoking ceremony led by the most reverend Bishop Gerard Hanna of the Wagga Wagga Diocese.

"The ground breaking and blessing signifies an important milestone in this project of bringing a private hospital and clinical learning and teaching centre to the community of Griffith as well as surrounding regions in western Riverina. Our core aim is to improve access to health services for the people of Griffith and beyond," said Robert Cusack, CEO St Vincent's Private Hospital Sydney.

"St Vincent's is continuing to work with NSW Health to identify opportunities for shared services with the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) to maximise the potential for mutual benefit for both hospitals," Mr Cusack added.

Griffith City Mayor John Dal Broi said he is looking forward to taking another step closer to the realisation of a private hospital for Griffith. He gave credit to the many local residents who raised more than $1M for the project over the past two years.

"The dream of a private hospital for our region is becoming a reality thanks to St Vincent's Health Australia, NSW Health, the Spagnolo and Casella Family trusts, and the support of our loyal community who have all come together to support this important goal. I am so proud to be able to see the ground breaking and blessing occur and pave the way for construction," Mayor Dal Broi said.

An announcement regarding the selection of the project builder is expected to be made soon. The Four national firms invited to tender during the recently concluded tender process are ADCO Constructions, Cockram Construction, Joss Construction, and Lahey Constructions.

The private hospital will house a 20-bed inpatient unit, two operating theatres, and 20 day-only beds with the co-located Murrumbidgee Clinical Teaching & Learning Centre. Other features will include medical consultation suites for local and visiting professionals, and therapy and treatment areas.

Day surgeries will include ophthalmology, diagnostic endoscopy, day chemotherapy, urology, simple orthopaedics, ENT, general, plastics such as excision of lesions, and dentistry. Inpatient services will include palliative care, respiratory, endocrinology, surgical urology, gynaecology, ENT, general, and simple orthopaedics such as arthroscopy and vascular such as varicose veins.

Combined with the existing Griffith Base Hospital, the interlinked clinical and teaching campus of some 150 hospital beds and related community and primary care infrastructure will see a critical mass of healthcare services established for the people in western Riverina.