Albury Wodonga Health pushes case for maternity ward relocation to Albury

THE relocation of maternity services to Albury is firmly back on the radar.

Albury-Wodonga Health is in advanced talks with the Victorian Government about a new maternity section at the Albury hospital being built at the same time as the revamped emergency department.

The NSW Government committed $30 million to the emergency department upgrade earlier this year and health officials believe massive savings can be achieved if a new maternity section was done simultaneously.

An updated AWH strategic service plan is expected to re-affirm the move which was first made public in 2012.

But construction of the regional cancer centre became the priority for the cross-border health service and also no committed funding for the emergency department upgrade also stalled moves.

AWH’s ultimate goal is to have all acute services based in Albury and sub acute services in Wodonga with the creation of a single campus hospital not on the radar.

Close to 30,000 babies have been delivered and cared for in Wodonga since the Mercy maternity service shut in 1998.

SIGN OF THE TIMES: The decision to move all Border births to Wodonga in the late 1990s wasn't without controversy.

SIGN OF THE TIMES: The decision to move all Border births to Wodonga in the late 1990s wasn't without controversy.

The Victorian Health Department confirmed the possibility of a new maternity ward in Albury.

“The NSW Government allocated $30 million towards the redevelopment of the emergency department at Albury hospital,” a department spokesman said.

“The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services is working with Albury Wodonga Health to progress planning for the redevelopment, including developing a range of options for more detailed consideration.

“Any Victorian state budget allocation would be subject to development of a detailed business case, and would be considered in the broader system priorities.”

AWH was tight-lipped on details.

“The strategic service plan for AWH, which identifies our long-term planning options and requirements, is currently under consideration by both state governments,” a spokeswoman said.

“This plan will identify the preferred options for service delivery for the next five years.”