Onslow’s first new hospital in more than 50 years will start accepting patients from 8am today.
Construction of the Onslow Health Service reached practical completion last week, marking a major milestone for the facility which has been in development since November 2016.
The new facility, which was opened for public tours last Saturday, includes an expanded emergency department, six-bed inpatient unit, medical imaging room, dental clinic, two-chair capacity dialysis, and telehealth and ICT links for access to a range of specialists.
Its outpatient centre features rooms for child health, community mental health, physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and community health nursing specialties.
Health Minister Roger Cook said the hospital featured the latest health technology.
“The expanded emergency department and modern six-bed inpatient unit are state-of-the-art, and have telehealth and videoconferencing links for access to emergency and other specialists,” he said.
“Local people will be able to attend their child health, physiotherapy and other community health appointments in purpose-built rooms in comfort and privacy, and with specialist services such as medical imaging and pathology under the same roof.”
WA Country Health Service Pilbara regional director Margi Faulkner said the hospital unified all the main health services in Onslow in a single, modern facility.
“I think the lovely thing for the community here is that this is a purpose-built facility with everything in the one place, under the one roof,” she said.
“Previously we’ve had some external buildings that our physiotherapists and community health nurses and others have worked from, and we’ve had a ‘cupboard’ in the back of the hospital for our dental services and our (medical) imaging, whereas now what we have is everything under the roof, and it is absolutely purpose-built for the service that we're attempting to deliver.”
Shire of Ashburton president Kerry White said the new facility would be a key asset for the region.
“The opening of the new Onslow Health Service is a welcome addition to the town and will vastly improve the medical services available to residents,” she said.
“The new health campus provides greater opportunity for a broader range of visiting specialists as well as enhanced availability of key medical amenities.”
Onslow’s existing clinical staff provided input into the design of the building and its services to customise the hospital for local needs.
The hospital’s distinctive curved roof is designed to reflect the colours and geography of the region, and the building also features a digitally printed mural of more than 150 residents’ handprints on the underside of the roof.
All hospital, emergency and health clinic appointments will be held in the new building from 8am today.
Further contracted works still need to be completed and are expected to be finished in the first half of next year.
The old Onslow Hospital, which was built in 1965, will be knocked down and the land will be converted into a staff carpark and landscaped area for the new facility.
The final cost of new hospital has not yet been determined, but it was originally projected to cost $41.8 million funded by the State Government and the Chevron-operated Wheatstone LNG project.
Onslow Health Service was part of the previous Liberal-Nationals government’s $194.1 million North West Health Initiative, designed to improve health services in the State’s north.