There was a palpable sense of excitement in those final days of the old Albury Base Hospital in the early 1990s.
The red-brick buildings opposite the botanic gardens had served the community well for many decades.
But the time for renewal had long been and gone.
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It was very much like Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital before it underwent a virtual total rebuild just a few years ago.
The new Albury hospital at Borella Road, the stand-out achievement of Ian Glachan's time in the NSW Parliament, was modern on a scale many could not imagine for our city.
And yet in the years since the doors opened, our community has grown at such a pace that even with constant upgrades the hospital is now barely able to keep up.
Many in our community would accept that something significant needs to be done.
The revamp of the Albury hospital emergency department will be extremely welcome, but even that is a stop-gap measure for the decades ahead.
This isn't a new topic of discussion among those with a keen interest in maintaining an effective public health system on the Border.
And there certainly isn't anything new in the Border Medical Association's push for a single-campus hospital.
We have all borne witness to some extent the difficulties created by having two hospitals in Albury-Wodonga.
For our medical community, this is greatly magnified.
There are the problems of having to transfer patients between the two hospitals, of having - especially for Wodonga - future expansion limited by space restrictions, of simply stretching Albury Wodonga Health's medical and nursing resources to the point their expertise cannot be used in the most effective way for patients.
As BMA president Barb Robertson points out: "Things are getting worse because we are trying to run two hospitals beyond their capacity".
A long-term solution to the current restraints won't be sorted in the short-term.
Nevertheless, this is something that must be tackled with effective planning in the here-and-now.
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