After many years of waiting, the redevelopment of the Wagga Wagga Base Hospital is nearing completion. On Saturday 12th December 2015, the general public were offered the opportunity of a tour of Stage 2, the new Acute Hospital building, before it becomes operational in January 2016.

Over 2,600 people came through to inspect the new $282.1 million hospital, now renamed “Wagga Rural Referral Hospital”. The new hospital, with triple the floor space of the existing building, will deliver a greatly enlarged emergency department, operating theatres, women’s and children’s replacement inpatient units, new intensive care and high dependency units, angiography suites, additional inpatient beds and a rooftop helipad. The bed capacity will increase from 237 to 294. Patient transfer will begin mid-January 2016.

Guiding the thousands through the facility were 65 volunteers and there were many very positive comments from the visitors, many being impressed beyond their expectations.

The Wagga Wagga RRT team, and the Rotary Club, were asked to assist in providing a “sausage sizzle” and drinks for the visitors after the conclusion of their tour. The delicious sausage and onion sandwiches and cold drinks were very well received, and all proceeds went to the hospital; in all a total of over $2,000 was raised. Many patrons also enjoyed the free bottles of water also provided by RRT which were handed out amongst the crowd. Some commented appreciatively on the number of young people enthusiastically involved in the RRT team.

After the day had concluded, the RRT team members were given a most interesting, special guided tour, as a mark of appreciation from the hospital management. This included a tour of the operating theatre suite, which the team were assured they would never have the chance to see again, because if they had occasion to be there they would be asleep before they were wheeled in and still asleep when they were wheeled out!

Stage 3, to begin in February 2016, involves demolition of the existing 6 storey tower building, which is to be demolished brick by brick because of the amount of asbestos in the structure. The lift well will be stripped out and the demolition debris tipped down the void from each level and removed at ground level. All work is to be carried out as quietly as possible, due to the sick people and local residents nearby, and is expected to take twelve months to complete.  Should be interesting!


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