Busselton marked the start of a new era in healthcare today, as Premier Colin Barnett and Health Minister Kim Hames joined community members at the opening of the city's comprehensive health campus.
The new campus includes a hospital and a range of community-based services with advanced features and technology normally found in large metropolitan health centres.
Mr Barnett said he was delighted that many years of hard work had produced such a magnificent hospital and said the whole community would have the opportunity to see the facilities first hand at tomorrow's open day.
"Once it's up and running the emergency department is expected to handle some 20,000 presentations over the 2015-16 financial year. That means a lot of advance preparation by a lot of people to ensure the smooth transition and running of the hospital," the Premier said.
"It's a huge feat. I'm told the communications cabling to deliver some of the technology services here stretches approximately 326km long - which is roughly the distance between Busselton and Northam."
The new Busselton Health Campus is almost twice the size of the original site, and includes touch-screen equipment for patients and clinical staff, plus access to television, radio and internet, 24 hours a day.
Dr Hames said more than 8,300 pieces of equipment would be moved into more than 600 rooms and other areas at the hospital.
"The new campus will provide 84 beds and 15 emergency department spaces which is a significant improvement on the 54 beds and 11 emergency department spaces in the old hospital," Dr Hames said.
"There are two operating theatres and a procedure room, six outpatients consulting rooms, compared with the existing one, and a six-chair dental clinic to replace the present two-chair facility.
"Patients will be able to access the full range of services including X-rays and CT scans in the expanded medical imaging department, located close to the campus's main entrance and the emergency department."
Technology plays a huge part in modern day health care and the new Busselton Health Campus features a number of high-tech systems including a state-of-the-art patient entertainment system.
The system is part of a $10.7 million State Government Royalties for Regions program funding package for ICT at the campus and across the South-West.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said investment in health was fundamental to the ongoing viability of regional Western Australia and Royalties for Regions was addressing the gaps in healthcare to ensure regional areas continued to be desirable places to live, work and invest.
"The Busselton Health Campus will help further strengthen the region's self-sufficiency in meeting the growing demand for specialist services and community-based care," Mr Redman said.
"Investment in such critical infrastructure is necessary for the sustainability of our regional communities."
Busselton Health Campus will include 9,415sqm of vinyl flooring; 2,708sqm of wall vinyl, 2,230sqm of carpet tiles, 3,440 light fittings and 440m of handrails
$120.4 million State Government funding includes $40.5 million from Royalties for Regions with an additional $10.7 million State Government Royalties for Regions program funding package for ICT at the campus and across the South West region.
Additionally, the Australian Government contributed $2.5 million to fund the new dental clinic
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Health Minister's office - 6552 5300
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700