New Intern Doctors Welcomed As Main Car Park Works Get Underway

Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock and Member for Kiama Gareth Ward visited Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital today to welcome the 9 new intern doctors who recently started at the hospital.

“Interns are a vital part of the professional team at the frontline of the health system,” Mrs Hancock said.

“We are very happy to greet this new team of enthusiastic and talented doctors who want to make a difference right here on the South Coast all while developing their skills in the public health system.

“These nine new interns will be working alongside the hardworking staff already at Shoalhaven Hospital, joining its fantastic workforce that has seen an additional 139 full time equivalent staff added since June 2013,” Mrs Hancock said.

Mr Ward said NSW has a record 1021 intern positions, more than any other state or territory, and 251 positions more than under Labor.

“The NSW Government has invested close to three-quarters of a billion dollars in the internship program since 2011.Under Labor, the investment in the program was just $63 million in 2010.

“The nine medical graduates we met today will be joined by a further 56 interns who also started their internships at hospitals across the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District,” Mr Ward said.

During their one-year internship, the graduates will complete compulsory terms in the specialties of medicine, surgery and emergency as required by the Medical Board of Australia. While the second year focuses on consolidating professional practice and experience in different clinical settings. The interns will rotate through a network of metropolitan, regional or rural hospitals, as well as GP practices.

After meeting with the new doctors both members also inspected progress of the car park upgrade, with works for the construction of the multi-storey car park having commenced earlier this month.

Mrs Hancock said the NSW Government had committed $10.8 million towards the project that when complete will increase the hospital’s overall parking capacity to 545 spaces.

“The new five split-level car park will provide more than 220 new spaces in addition to the 60 ground level spaces that were constructed as early works,” Mrs Hancock said.

“As part of planning for the car park upgrade, the hospital has undertaken master planning for the entire hospital site to ensure any future hospital enhancements and expansion on the campus will not be compromised.

“This master planning is an essential part of informing how best to respond to the health service needs of the Shoalhaven community.

“The multi deck car park project is the first step to prepare the site for the future and I am glad to see the project is well underway,” Mrs Hancock said.

Mr Ward said Project Coordination Pty Ltd had been awarded the main works contract and the project team had worked with Council to ensure the temporary parking arrangements during construction of the car park are effective and minimise impact to neighbours and local community.

“To support parking options in the area, the project team developed a temporary parking strategy which will alleviate some of the impact during construction through maintenance of 65 onsite spaces for the public,” Mr Ward said.

“Shelley and I used every opportunity in Parliament to press the case for this car park. We tabled petitions, delivered speeches and worked hard to convince the Government that this was needed.

“Shoalhaven Hospital is my local hospital and I want patients, visitors and staff to have the best possible facilities.

“Labor refused to match our commitment for improved parking at Shoalhaven Hospital,” Mr Ward said.   

The car park is tracking to be completed by late 2019.

In October 2018, the State Government announced a $434 million upgrade to Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital, which will be supported by this much-needed car park upgrade.