Health Minister Jillian Skinner and Member for Orange Andrew Gee last week visited Parkes Hospital to witness the removal of a time capsule deposited in 1904.
The time capsule was installed in the eastern wall of the hospital by the Parkes community under the care of Hospital President John Medlyn.
Mr Medlyn’s granddaughter, Yvonne Hutton, attended the unveiling.
Mrs Hutton OAM will work with the Lachlan Health Service Culture and Arts Group and Powerhouse Museum to ensure the time capsule’s contents are appropriately managed.
The time capsule must remain closed for several days to allow the contents to acclimatise before being opened.
“It is a thrill to be in Parkes to witness such a momentous event,” Mrs Skinner said.
“I’m pleased Parkes Hospital’s history will be preserved, with the 1904 foundation stone that has protected the time capsule to be relocated and featured in the public courtyard of the new Parkes Hospital.”
While in Parkes, Mrs Skinner and Mr Gee viewed construction progress of the new $72 million Parkes Hospital, which is on a new site on the Forbes Road.
Work is currently focused on the installation of hospital equipment, internal furnishings and external landscaping.
The Minister said she was most impressed with the progress and layout.
“The operating theatre itself would be the envy of any hospital in the world,” she proudly announced.
“The helicopter landing pad is ideally positioned with easy and clear access to the hospital emergency section.
“There are wonderful views from all of the patient rooms and I have no doubt mums will be extremely happy in the the birthing area.
“I have been working on this project for more than a decade, since when we were in Opposition, and it will be a very special moment to attend its ultimate opening.”
Mr Gee said the new hospital would provide an array of improved healthcare services, including an expanded emergency department and inpatient unit.
“It will also provide birthing suites for maternity services, an ambulatory care unit, including chemotherapy and dental facilities, an advanced operating suite and day-only surgical services and clinical support services,” Mr Gee said.
The NSW Government committed $113.4 million toward the Lachlan Health Service Project.
This includes $72.5 million to the redevelopment of Parkes Hospital on a new site and $40.9 million for the refurbishment of Forbes Hospital, which includes a new building.
The Lachlan Health Service Project is scheduled for completion in early 2016.