Westmead Hospital $1bn upgrade promised

THE future of health in western Sydney has taken a giant leap forward with a major redevelopment of Westmead Hospital announced by the state government expected to total more than $1 billion when complete.

NSW Treasurer Andrew Constance and Health Minister Jillian Skinner met with local MPs and hospital staff outside Westmead Hospital on Sunday to make the announcement, with stage one of the redevelopment expected to cost more than $400 million.

Stephen Leeder, Chair of the Western Sydney Local Health District Board, was involved with the early planning stages of Westmead Hospital's construction in 1973, and said talk of a major revamp first started 15-20 years ago.

He said the state government funding announcement was "terrific" news for western Sydney.

"The funding means we will see a much more up-to-date hospital focused around available therapy for acute problems and a more appropriately designed hospital with a focus on rapid front end treatment to move patients through the hospital in days rather than weeks," Professor Leeder said. "It's like refitting an air carrier which was built 30-40 years ago.

"The technology has changed and we need to bring it up to speed."

Ms Skinner said the redevelopment of Westmead would be the biggest hospital building project undertaken in western Sydney.

It includes an acute services building and comprehensive care centres for emergency, trauma and surgical patients.

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