Frequently Asked Questions

Updated DECEMBER 2022

 

The NSW Government has announced $260 million to build a sustainable, modern and purpose-built hospital to support the needs of the entire Eurobodalla Shire from Narooma to Batemans Bay. It will deliver high quality, contemporary and accessible care close to home. Once completed the new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital will deliver:
  • An emergency department
  • Eight bed Intensive Care / Close Observation Unit
  • Increased capacity for chemotherapy
  • Surgical and operating theatres
  • Expanded medical imaging, including MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
  • Ambulatory care for community outpatient services
  • Paediatric and maternity services - including inpatient beds
  • Mental Health beds for short term admissions, and
  • Enhanced education and training facilities.
Yes. The new hospital will be a regional hospital at the heart of the Eurobodalla Local Government Area.
The Eurobodalla Regional Hospital will be built to accommodate a Level 4 health facility. The project will help meet the needs of the region’s growing population and is being delivered with future demand in mind, providing health services designed to adapt to expected growth. The redevelopment will be supported by a workforce plan to train, recruit and retain staff to meet the future growth of Eurobodalla Regional Hospital. The new hospital will require time to transition and develop the workforce to align with the new contemporary models of care, the new facility, technology and ways of working.
The new hospital will be larger than both Moruya and Batemans Bay hospitals combined and deliver an increase in bed numbers. Contemporary health service design enables flexible use of beds in all clinical areas, as demand requires. This means that wards can be reconfigured if a department needs more beds at any given time.
It is important to note the Resilience Assessment of Eurobodalla Maternity Services, undertaken by the Chief Obstetrician, Professor Michael Nicholl, and the Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC), does not find maternity services in the region are unsafe. The report recommends further enhancements to service delivery, which the Local Health District has taken immediate action to address. A feedback session was held with staff to review the report and recommendations. 14 Eurobodalla-based medical officers attended neonatal advanced live support training. An external Specialist Obstetrician has been appointed to provide District leadership and support governance. An external midwifery consultant has started with the District to support defining the midwifery scope of practice. A District Manager of Midwifery Services is under recruitment to support ongoing improvement. This $260 million investment will help address the reasonable and workable solutions outlined in the assessment report to ensure the ongoing care and support of women and their families.
Patients in SNWLHD who may have cancer and who require radiotherapy treatment, can access high-quality, appropriately staffed radiotherapy services at either Canberra or Nowra. Both centres provide existing accommodation facilities for patients who attend from SNSWLHD.
 
In August 2020, SNSWLHD undertook a comprehensive process to determine the safety and viability of establishing radiation therapy services on the South Coast (Bega/Moruya). Public and public-private partnership service models were considered. The process found there was not a sufficient population base in the area to support a viable, high quality public radiation service. Potential partnerships with private providers also lacked evidence of affordability, sustainability and quality.
 
SNSWLHD continually monitors the demand for all health services, including radiotherapy services, and aligns future service delivery with best practice guidelines, safety, sustainability and service demand in mind. The new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital Master Plan includes space for the expansion or inclusion of future compatible services.
 
The Coastal Network brings together healthcare services and diverse populations across the South Coast region and includes the Eurobodalla and Bega Valley municipalities and tourist hotspots such as Batemans Bay, Merimbula, and Eden. The Coastal Network has four hospitals that are supported by community health services at Batemans Bay, Narooma, Moruya, Bega, Pambula and Eden. It also has inpatient and outpatient services, including obstetrics, surgery, acute inpatient, mental health, paediatrics, oncology, renal and sub-acute rehabilitation. The Coastal Network supports workforce growth, development and collaboration between Batemans Bay and Eden.
Yes. The site for the new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital has been acquired under the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991. 

In December 2020, the NSW Government announced the preferred location for the new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital on the Princes Highway in Moruya. Site establishment and construction will commence in early 2023.
The campus master plan for the new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital Development has been developed in consultation with local and state government agencies, clinicians, operational staff and the community. The key purpose of master planning is to develop a framework for how key clinical connections and requirements can be supported with different types of infrastructure, and how this infrastructure can be located and connected to existing and new health networks, as well as supporting infrastructure such as transport and utilities. It addresses how people will get to and from the hospital and how the hospital works as a place. The master plan also considers how the hospital will expand to continue to provide high quality health services well into the future.
The master plan guides the final hospital design, including the location of infrastructure to support clinical services such as the emergency department, operating theatres and medical imaging, as well as access requirements to the new hospital.
Helipad
  • The new hospital includes a helipad to transport patients requiring specialist care to hospitals in Sydney and Canberra. A number of locations for the helipad were investigated as part of the Master Planning process, with an area close to the Emergency Department identified as the most suitable. This considered the site’s topography, flood zone, asset protection zones (bushfire), biodiversity zones and cultural heritage areas as well as aviation requirements to ensure safe take-off and landing.
Access
  • The hospital site entrance for all public and hospital vehicles, including ambulances will be via the Princes Highway.
Separated internal roads for ambulance and ED
  • Within the site, there will be separate access to the Emergency Department (ED) to ensure patients requiring emergency care can enter as quickly as possible without having to use the main hospital entrance.
Secondary access road for emergency vehicles if Princes Highway is blocked
  • There will be a secondary access road for emergency vehicles off Caswell Street. This access is planned to be used in the event the Princes Highway is blocked and emergency vehicles are unable to access the hospital main entry (for example a traffic incident). It will not be used for general public or staff access.
Construction access to support enabling works
  • During the hospital construction, and before the new roundabout off the Princes Highway is completed, some preliminary site access routes will be required to support enabling works on site. Planning is under way and residents in the local area will be consulted and informed prior to work commencing.

Health Infrastructure is working with Transport for NSW to integrate planning of the Moruya bypass and new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital, including how access will be managed between the bypass, existing Princes Highway, Moruya town centre and the hospital site.

Health Infrastructure is working with TfNSW, NSW Ambulance and the Eurobodalla Shire Council to ensure contingencies are in place to enable emergency access should the hospital be delivered before the bypass is completed. A bypass of Moruya should not stop future expansion of the new hospital, noting that access via the bypass will improve emergency access, reliability and response times. The hospital site entrance for all public and hospital vehicles, including ambulances will be via a new roundabout off the Princes Highway.

The new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital Development is a pilot project for the NSW Government Architect’s Connecting with Country framework that will ensure Aboriginal consultation through the delivery and operation of the new hospital. Aboriginal consultation has already influenced the design of the new hospital; for example, the maternity unit will be located on the Ground Floor to accommodate the importance of birthing on country.
Throughout the planning process, the project team has been consulting with 17 Project User Groups (PUGs). Participation from user groups is important during planning and the development of the design to ensure staff, patients and community representatives have input into the design. PUGs were established for each of the services and departments in the new build. Community consultation will take place at the various stages of design including concept design, schematic design and design development.
Funding to plan a new community healthcare hub in Batemans Bay was announced in August 2021. The new community health facility will provide additional healthcare services to complement the new hospital and provide the people of Eurobodalla with greater access to care, closer to home.

The new hospital will have a broader range of services and be part of a dynamic network with well-established broader partnerships. The new facility will provide for enhanced education and training for staff to further develop their skills, The SNSWLHD and Coastal Network workforce is working with university partners to strengthen undergraduate and postgraduate education, and supportive professional networks will assist in attracting specialists. The SNSWLHD is also investing in medical leadership, with 12 new medical leads in place to support collegiality, and clinical excellence.

Recruiting doctors to rural and regional areas is a challenge for all states and territories. The NSW Government has several initiatives to support development of the rural and regional workforce. Initiatives include:

  • The NSW Rural Resident Medical Officer Cadetship Program, which offers up to 16 scholarships per year to students interested in undertaking a career in rural NSW.
  • The Rural Preferential Recruitment Program supports junior doctors working their first two years in a rural location.  In 2021, there are 150 Rural Preferential positions, an increase of seven positions from 2020 and 75 positions since 2012. This represents an overall growth of 100 per cent.
  • The NSW Rural Generalist Training Program, which is a statewide training program that offers advanced skills training for Rural Generalist trainees.
  • Rural Generalist Scholarships to the value of $3,000, are offered to each rural generalist trainee who starts advanced skills training. 
  • The NSW Rural General Practice Procedural Training Program, which provides opportunities for rural GPs to acquire additional procedural skills such as anaesthetics or obstetrics.
  • Rural and metropolitan hospitals are linked through training networks for intern and specialty medical training. The networks support both rural and metropolitan trainees to meet college training requirements within the Network and provides metropolitan based trainees an opportunity for rural exposure and rural trainees to access metropolitan rotations.
  • All NSW psychiatry trainees are required to undertake a rural rotation. In 2012, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists stopped the requirement for psychiatry trainees to undertake a rural rotation as part of their training. However, the Ministry determined that it would be a condition of employment that all psychiatry trainees rotate to rural locations for a minimum of at least three months during the training program. This is managed through the psychiatry training networks.
One of the key challenges in regional and rural health is the split responsibility between the Australian Government, and the states and territories. NSW Health is committed to working with the Australian Government to explore opportunities for greater coordination and innovation, to support integrated health services and an adequate and stable clinical workforce for rural and regional communities.
Financial assistance is available for eligible SNSWLHD residents who need to access health services outside the Eurobodalla via the NSW Health Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS). IPTAAS was also recently expanded by the NSW Government to provide increased financial assistance for patients who need to travel long distances for specialist care.
 
Accommodation facilities are available in Canberra and Nowra for patients who attend from SNSWLHD.
 
The preferred site for the new hospital was announced in December 2020. The formal State Significant Development Application (SSDA) planning process for the new hospital has commenced and consultation will continue to develop the application, including a detailed Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which will be lodged in the coming months. Construction of a facility of this size generally takes between two to three years to complete and the new hospital is expected to be completed in 2025. 

Health Infrastructure is committed to including sustainability principles in the design and construction of health projects and during the operation of the facility.

All Health Infrastructure projects are designed to comply with energy targets in-line with the NSW Government’s Resource Efficiency Policy, use design and innovation in new facilities to reduce waste, costs and Health’s carbon footprint. Solar panels, and the infrastructure to support them, are considered during planning for all NSW Health redevelopments.

Visit the project website or contact the project team: HI-EurobodallaHospital@health.nsw.gov.au.