Council to lobby state government for paediatric ICU in Campbelltown

More services needed: Campbelltown Council will lobby the state government to secure funding for a paediatric ICU at Campbelltown Hospital. Picture: Jess Layt
More services needed: Campbelltown Council will lobby the state government to secure funding for a paediatric ICU at Campbelltown Hospital. Picture: Jess Layt

Campbelltown Council will actively lobby the state government to fund a paediatric intensive care unit at Campbelltown Hospital following a council resolution last week.

Councillor Paul Lake raised a motion at last Tuesday’s meeting asking the council to contribute $5 million from its City Deals funding to establish and run a paediatric ICU at Campbelltown Hospital as a matter of urgency.

Cr Lake’s push comes after Macarthur MP Dr Michael Freelander and Campbelltown MP Greg Warren both called for a paediatric ICU at the hospital, citing Campbelltown and Macarthur’s ever-growing populations as a huge need for extra services.

Campbelltown councillors largely agreed with Cr Lake’s call for additional paediatric services at the hospital, but did not support his suggestion to fund such a unit.

“I concur with Cr Lake’s comments and passion,” Councillor Karen Hunt said.

“This is a very important matter for our region.

“But it is not the council’s responsibility to [fund] a state government service.”

Cr Hunt amended Cr Lake’s motion to instead ask the council to write to Mr Warren requesting he make representations to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and state opposition leader Luke Foley to secure a paediatric ICU in Campbelltown.

The motion also asked council general manager Lindy Deitz and mayor George Brticevic to lobby Ms Berejiklian and Mr Foley whenever possible.

Cr Lake said there was a great need for ICU services in the region.

“There are about 33,000 kids in the area and no ICU,” he said. “There are only three paediatric ICUs in NSW: Randwick, Westmead and Newcastle. They’re not exactly a hop, skip and a jump away from us.

“You would have to have your own car to get there.

“The community would back this 100 per cent – I think it’s a no-brainer.”

The existing paediatric unit at Campbelltown Hospital is already set to undergo a significant expansion as part of a $632 million stage two redevelopment.

Campbelltown Hospital general manager Alison Derrett said the number of paediatric beds offered at the hospital will almost triple from 22 to 60 during the improvements.

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