YOU would expect $21.5 million to deliver quite a significant upgrade, but residents who attended the Muswellbrook District Hospital stage 2 Open Day were still delightfully surprised with the end result.
Members of the community were welcomed to explore the facilities on Friday, November 29, as officials from across the region gathered to heap praise on the improvements which have been made.
Among the changes are a chemotherapy department with four standalone chairs, and a new chemotherapy procedure/isolation room with treatment chair; Renal Dialysis Unit with five spaces, and an additional renal dialysis isolation room with treatment chair; expanded ambulatory care clinic, with five consultation rooms, one interview room and one treatment room; Day Stay Unit with six recovery bays; Oral Care Department and a new medical imaging department.
Muswellbrook District Hospital health services manager Wendy Hordern said she had been looking forward to the chance to display their new equipment and areas to the public.
"It's fantastic," she admitted.
"It's a great opportunity to show off our brand new facility, this is the community's hospital and it's a great achievement for the community."
This sentiment was echoed by executive director for rural and regional health services Susan Heyman, who also kicked off the event with a speech before the tours began.
"It's a magnificent building," she said.
"It is purpose-built for the delivery of contemporary health services and I think it's great for the community as a whole and it certainly provides a nice work environment for our staff as well."
This was confirmed by Ms Hordern, who said anything that mad life easier for their patients also made life easier for the staff.
Despite being excited about all of the changes, she was keen to emphasise the Oral Care Department, stating it would be a huge benefit to the town to have one open on site.
Among the dignitaries there on the day were Muswellbrook Shire Council mayor Martin Rush and Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen.
Both couldn't help but speak about stage 3, which would see a new ward installed and an upgrade to the operating theatre take place.
Mr Johnsen said he was hoping to lobby the government for funding so the project could be completed as quickly as possible.