X-ray services are scheduled to begin on-site at Tomaree Community Hospital from February.
Port Stephens Duty MLC Catherine Cusack on Monday announced that a contractor would provide the services during business hours and on call after-hours, once Hunter New England Health had renovated the room to suit.
“X-Ray services are finally coming to Tomaree Community Hospital saving locals a two hour return trip to John Hunter Hospital”, Ms Cusack said.
"The community has been calling for these services for years and the BerejiklianGovernment is delighted to be in a position to deliver this significant improvement to local patient services," Ms Cusack said.
It comes a year after the state government announced the tender process. The successful tenderer is expected to be named within weeks.
“The timing for today’s announcement comes down to Hunter New England Health now finalising the plans to refurbish this room,” Ms Cusack said.
“It’s no secret I am a big fan of Cr Jaimie Abbott – I was here helping out with her campaign – the whole time this issue of x-ray services came up time and time again.
“I brought it up with the Health Minister [Brad Hazzard] and all the while this tendering process was ongoing.”
Local Health committee chairwoman Jeanette Antrum, who has consistently reminded Hunter New England Health of the need for on-site services, said the announcement was most welcome.
“I’ve been the chair now for five years now and it was an issue for a long time before that,” she said.
“Once this opens people won’t have to be taken elsewhere for x-rays, which only adds to the trauma.”
The provision of the service was still up in the air earlier this month, when there had been no word on where the tender process was up to.
As the Examiner has previously reported, the provision of off-site x-ray services had cost in excess of $200,000 in a six month period.
The service will provide general x-ray services between 8am and 4:30pm on business days, with an on-call service available after hours.
Patients requiring more urgent CT, ultrasound and higher-level imaging will continue to be transferred to John Hunter Hospital and the Calvary Mater Newcastle.