The clear need for a new hospital servicing Albury-Wodonga and the wider region is poised to be presented to a succession of state government leaders including potentially the incoming NSW Premier and Deputy Premier before the end of the year.
Newly installed National Party leader and Deputy Premier Paul Toole said yesterday he and new Premier Dominic Perrottet would prioritise a regional tour of the state this month.
In a separate development, Victorian Senator Bridget McKenzie has invited state health ministers, Victoria's Martin Foley and NSW's Brad Hazzard to inspect facilities locally.
The invite follows a virtual meeting she hosted this week with Albury-Wodonga health providers and the federal Regional Health Minister David Gillespie.
The Border Medical Association, which has renewed calls for a new hospital, was a participant in the meeting.
"Our local health services have faced significant challenges in recent times due to natural disasters, border closures and overall increased demand," Senator McKenzie said.
"The crux of this issue is that we need more medical professionals in regional towns like Albury-Wodonga, especially junior doctors."
Dr Gillespie has also been invited to Albury-Wodonga.
Senator McKenzie said the Albury-Wodonga Regional Deal remained vitally important to making better health care facilities a reality on the border.
"I am committed to seeing this Regional Deal signed off by the federal and state governments as soon as possible," she said.
"Healthcare is not about state versus state; it is about all levels of government coming together and working on behalf of the community to get things done."
Mr Toole's predecessor, John Barilaro, had occupied his state's seat at the table of Regional Deal deliberations as Regional NSW Minister.
Senator McKenzie was a driving force in the creation of the Regional Deal in 2019, but the arrangement aiming to unlock millions of dollars of investment and involving the federal, state and local governments is still awaiting formal sign-off.
It is hoped this will happen before the end of the year.
"I am completely on-board for a new hospital here in Albury-Wodonga," she said.
"Tens of thousands of local residents utilise these crucial cross-border health services and demand is only increasing as more people move here.
"We are also waiting for the sign off on the Regional Deal, which I believe will play an important role in a cohesive cross-border health system in our region moving forward."
Mr Toole's deputy Bronnie Taylor is also across health care facilities in Albury-Wodonga.
The exact location of the redeveloped facility is being considered as part of the overall master plan being undertaken by AWH and due for release next month.
Member for Albury Justin Clancy said he would ensure the regional tour proposed by Mr Perrottet and Mr Toole would take in his electorate.
"One of the positive things about both Paul and Dom assuming senior leadership roles is they have both visited the Albury electorate a number of times," he said.
"The last time Paul was down here he went out to Mulwala and then up to the opening of the Coppabella Road.
"When Dom was here he had a tour of the Albury health campus.
"They genuinely know this part of the world.
"We're very much looking forward to them coming back here."
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