Pambula Hospital's shiny new refurbished inpatient wards were officially open after a festive ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, August 15.
A crowd of around fifty community members,officials and hospital staff shouted with joy as President of Save Our Hospital Inc (SOHI) Sharon Tapscott cut the ribbon unveiling the last stage of the hospital's $2.6 million state government funded refurbishment.
Addressing the crowd before the official proceedings, Ms Tapscott said many years of "spirited' advocating had paid off.
"The community kept going, looking for people with the will and the drive to keep the hospital we knew we needed.
"This is the result of a rural community that believed in itself and a start for rural hospitals," she said, before thanking the community and Bega MP Andrew Constance, who she said: "really believed in us."
Nurse Manager Kelly Jurd paid credit to SOHI, nurses, community, the Pambula Hospital Auxiliary and those who signed the Save Our Hospital petitions which collected over 26,000 signatures.
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Southern NSW Health Board member Russell Fitzpatrick and Pambula Hospital Auxiliary past president Shirley Rixon also addressed the crowd.
Mr Constance was an apology at the proceedings.
Members of the public were invited to walk through the refurbished inpatient wards which are now fully installed with updated fixtures, fittings and new carpet.
Other features to the hospital include a new main entry and reception, a refurbished Assessment, Treatment and Care Centre (ATC), treatment spaces, bathroom facilities, and an exercise room. Along with a parents' room and kids' corner near the new waiting area, and an additional toilet facility.
Hospital patient 81-year-old John King said he was born in the old Pambula hospital and was thrilled to see the 'new' hospital up and running.
"It's wonderful to see this happening," he said.
"It was something that the town needed really badly."
Patients attending the clinic are either assessed, treated and discharged by a Nurse Practitioner; referred to a local GP medical service for further assessment or treatment; or transferred to South East Regional Hospital (SERH) for treatment.
Patients seeking care for serious illness and injuries should go directly to SERH emergency department, Virginia Drive, Bega. Patients with life threatening conditions should contact an ambulance immediately on 000. NSW Ambulance takes all emergency cases directly to SERH emergency department.