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Health minister slams as absurd Labor claims of ‘stadiums before hospitals’ policy

Firing back at Labor claims: NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard at Westmead Hospital on Tuesday with former Liverpool Hospital GM Robynne Cooke, currently Western Sydney Local Health District acting chief executive, and Westmead and Auburn hospitals general manager Brett Thompson.
Firing back at Labor claims: NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard, left, at Westmead Hospital on Tuesday with former Liverpool Hospital GM Robynne Cooke, currently Western Sydney Local Health District acting chief executive, and Westmead and Auburn hospitals general manager Brett Thompson.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has hit back at opposition claims the government is putting sport stadiums before hospitals.

Mr Hazzard has described as “completely absurd’’ Labor claims – published in South West Voice in Macarthur earlier this week – that the building of the new sports stadiums in Moore Park and Homebush will take priority over the rebuilding of Liverpool and Campbelltown and other busy hospitals.

 “Perhaps if Labor had built or upgraded during its 16 years even half as many of the 94 hospitals and health services we have built in just eight, it would know this,’’ the health minister said.

He pointed out that hospitals take between three and five years to complete. Liverpool and Campbelltown hospitals are also being built on sites where the existing facilities are in use.

 “It is far easier to knock down and rebuild a stadium with seats and stands, than it is to build a complex health facility, housing the most advanced medical equipment and technology available,’’ Mr Hazzard said.

 “Residents in South West Sydney are getting 21st century hospitals from the NSW Liberals and Nationals that Labor didn’t deliver because it had neither the interest or capacity.’’

Mr Hazzard said that since being elected in 2011, the NSW Government has spent $8.5 billion on health infrastructure, and another $8 billion will be spent over the next four years, almost $6 billion in western Sydney.

This includes more than $1 billion on Nepean Hospital; more than $775 million on Campbelltown Hospital; more than $700 million on Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals; more than $1 billion on Westmead and much more.

“As we speak, there are currently 600 workers on the building site at Blacktown Hospital and 650 people are working on site at Westmead, which will be finished within a year,’’ he said.

 “Those jobs and thousands more at other hospital and health sites around NSW would not have existed under Labor.

“The Liberals and Nationals Government delivered those jobs.

 “The only thing Labor consistently delivers are lies and misrepresentations.’’

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