Leeton mayor Tony Reneker has welcomed news the NSW government will provide Leeton Hospital with $1.2 million in funding but said he was unsure whether it was already part of preexisting hospital upgrade funding.
The NSW government released its 2022-23 state budget on Tuesday, which included $1.2 million being allocated to the struggling Leeton Hospital for facility upgrades.
Around $2.5 million was allocated to the hospital for upgrades in June, but Cr Reneker said he still had questions about Tuesday's announcement..
"We don't know if this is new money or part of the old grant. We haven't had time to make any inquiries," Cr Reneker said.
Cr Reneker said government help was still welcome, particularly during a difficult period for Leeton's only hospital.
"There's an urgent need to improve health services across the board," he said.
"The emergency department upgrade is good for our community and the confidence of our people, but a new emergency department doesn't mean we get new doctors, just new infrastructure. There's a range of improvements we still need."
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Chair of the Leeton Health Services Crisis Committee Maryann Ianelli welcomed the funding but said she wanted to learn more about it.
"It would be nice to know what the $1.2 million upgrade is going to be used for, and whether or not the consultation process was done with hospital staff or key stakeholders in the community," Ms Ianelli said.
She also said the struggling hospital needed more than just money.
"Money towards the bricks and mortar always helps, but we also need to look internally to see where the gaps are in our community and where we can fix that."
She said Leeton would make good use of its upcoming Integrated Health Services Strategy which is a joint project led by the shire council and Leeton Health Services Crisis Committee.
Ms Ianelli said the project would provide a more in-depth and tailored solution for the community.
Leeton Shire Council general manager Jackie Kruger agreed that the holistic nature of the Integrated Health Services Strategy would ultimately benefit Leeton.
"Our hospital in Leeton is very old and it needs a lot of upgrading," Mrs Kruger said. "Our clinical services plan will help inform what needs to be upgraded."
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