A development application for a state-of-the-art specialist centre and private hospital has been lodged this week with Clarence Valley Council.
The D.A details plans for a multi-level, purpose-built, healthcare centre to be located at Arthur and Queen Streets, Grafton.
The centre will provide access to high-tech infrastructure for the specialist care and services in the Clarence Valley residents.
The plans are the brainchild of local doctor and orthopaedic surgeon Dr Sam Martin, who performed the first total joint replacement surgery in Grafton Base Hospital five years ago.
When the surgeon shared his idea on social media late last year the community responded within minutes. The post attracted as many as nine hundred replies or likes for the clinician’s vision for Grafton’s healthcare future. Dr Martin said:
“Now, many Clarence Valley residents travel long distances for specialist services. This can mean long times away from their home, family members and friends.
“In my specialist field for example residents of Grafton and surrounding areas have previously had to travel to Coffs Harbour or Lismore for joint replacement surgery.
“The alternative can be lengthy wait times for treatment in the already over burden public hospital system.” Dr Martin said.
The specialist at Grafton Base Hospital believes the project will create jobs and help attract the necessary practitioners to the area such as cardiologists, urologists, gastroenterologists, obstetricians and psychiatrists.
“The planned specialist centre which will be adjacent to the public hospital would support community healthcare professionals from various specialities to work collaboratively and make healthcare and wellbeing services more streamlined for Grafton,” he said.
Dr Allan Tyson, director of Anaesthetics and chair of the medical staff council at Grafton Base Hospital welcomed news of the DA. The advocate for better health services in the Clarence Valley said:
“While things have been improving in the region, new health infrastructure would certainly help attract further specialist services to Grafton. Further investment in healthcare infrastructure is prudent particularly with the current predicted population growth for the town.”