INCLUDED in last week's raft of pre-budget announcements, the State government made an additional $49.4 million injection into the Geraldton Regional Hospital redevelopment.
The funds take the government's total investment in the hospital redevelopment project to $122.7m.
The government will officially hand down its budget, today, Thursday, May 12.
While the first redevelopment stage, which incorporated 400 additional car parking bays and a reconfigured main entry, has been delivered, the government recently came under fire for not progressing the next phase, which includes an expanded emergency department, a new intensive care unit co-located with an expanded high dependency unit and essential engineering service upgrades.
An integrated mental health service, including a mental health inpatient unit and a mental health short stay unit also form part of the upgrade.
Despite welcoming the additional funding, The Nationals WA regional health spokesman Martin Aldridge said the project had been delayed three times since 2017, was now seriously over budget and was still set to take years to complete, with no firm timeframe advanced by government.
"The State government, who is awash with cash and expected to post another massive surplus, should have made this decision well before now," Mr Aldridge said.
"Instead, projects such as the new Perth CBD university and pedestrian footbridge across the Swan River have been higher priorities for this government.
"More could have and should have been done in the five years since the McGowan government came to power, with patients in the Mid West apparently the big losers as the hospital comes under increasing pressure."
However the government said tight labour conditions had been a contributing factor to the delay in the project's development and that increasing pressure on input costs, including steel prices and timber prices, had resulted in cost escalation on the hospital redevelopment project as well.
Geraldton MP Lara Dalton said the project was the single biggest investment in the facility since the Gallop government redeveloped the hospital in the early 2000s.
"The hospital provides great care for our community and this is an extensive and welcome upgrade to complement that care," Ms Dalton said.
"I know that I speak for the people of Geraldton and the Mid West when I say that we look forward to the second stage of the redevelopment commencing soon, and I am extremely happy for the additional funding towards the project."
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