Acting Opposition Leader Linda Burney has one question for the NSW government: Where is the new Maitland Hospital?

Ms Burney commented on the government’s lack of action on the city’s second public hospital as she launched a petition yesterday to bring more health resources into the Hunter.

She said the Hunter’s health facilities needed a significant funding boost and the government should pay more attention to Maitland’s needs because it was one of the fastest growing places in the state.

“Prior to the state election, Robyn Parker promised $20 million towards a new hospital and there has been very little spent on this,” she said.

“I want the people of Maitland to join this campaign the NSW opposition has launched to get more health resources into the Hunter.

“We are taking this matter very seriously.”

The government allocated less than $1 million to the project in the 2012-2013 state budget and remains tight-lipped about possible sites for the new hospital.

A Hunter New England Health spokesperson said the the government had committed $20 million to planning for a new hospital in the Lower Hunter.

“To date, funding has assisted Hunter New England Local Health District to begin clinical services planning while also assessing the ability of current

facilities to meet future service delivery demands,” the spokesperson said.

“The overall planning process for the hospital will involve extensive consultation with Hunter communities and clinicians as well as key internal and external stakeholders.”

The spokesperson said a site had not been chosen for the hospital and Hunter New England Health, in partnership with Health Infrastructure and the Ministry of Health, were working together to decide on the most appropriate place for the new hospital.

“The first steering committee meeting, which is made up of representatives from the Ministry of Health, Health Infrastructure and Hunter New England Local Health District, met on 13 July,” the spokesperson said.

They said the 2012-13 state budget saw an increase of $57 million injected into the Hunter New England Local Health District.

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