THE Muswellbrook District Hospital's Stage 2 Redevelopment is on target to meet its mid-year deadline, following Tuesday's Welcoming and Smoking Ceremony.
Doctors, nurses, staff, auxiliary members, Aboriginal elders, special guests and representatives from various organisations, including Hunter New England Local Health District and Health Infrastructure NSW, were on hand to acknowledge the occasion, which also included a "brushing" ritual by Uncle Glen Morris.
Although the building itself is complete, refurbishment works are now occurring to finalise the $21.5 million project.
Once these are concluded, the state-of-the-art structure will connect seamlessly with the existing premises.
Areas such as Reception and General Admissions, Medical Imaging and NSW Health Pathology have already set up in their new "home", while the Renal Dialysis Unit will be the next component to move.
The experts predict "all will be done" by the end of July.
Hunter New England Local Health District executive director, rural and regional health services, Susan Heyman said Muswellbrook boasted a "wonderful building".
"I've had the pleasure of watching it develop, ever since the initial funding announcement in 2015," she admitted.
"Along the way, we've witnessed many milestones - from the traditional 'topping out' ceremony to today's service.
"It's a great day for the town, as well as the Upper Hunter.
"Congratulations to Muswellbrook health service manager Wendy Hordern and her team.
"The official opening isn't too far away."
Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen labelled the new-look Muswellbrook District Hospital as a "community facility".
"Everyone's played a role," he said.
"It's important for local residents to receive good levels of professional care close to home.
"And, I'm pleased we [NSW Government] made the commitment to it [the project] four years ago.
"Now, we're almost at the finish line.
"My next goal is to implement the start of Stage 3."