Forty additional parking spaces may not seem like a lot but as most residents know, every spot helps at Dubbo Hospital.
The street-level car park at the main entrance was officially opened on Monday morning, in the first 40 of more than 350 additional spaces promised in the $303.6 million hospital redevelopment.
Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders said the additional spaces would mean the familiar practice of having to lap the precinct looking for somewhere to park would become a thing of the past.
"[It] doesn't sound like a lot but when you add it to the 350 that the multi-level carpark will add and the total will be roughly a thousand car parking spaces here at Dubbo Hospital by next year," Mr Saunders said. "It is the closest car park now, apart from the five-minute parking to the front of the hospital, so it's a really great opportunity for visitors but also for patients to have parking near the front."
The new park is available to staff and visitors, while the multi-story car park being built on the western side of the precinct will be dedicated mainly for staff.
The facility is on track to be complete by the first quarter of 2022.
"Having staff able to park somewhere means that it frees up the rest of the car parking for visitors and for patients so that will make a massive difference," Mr Saunders said.
Both parks have been built by construction firm Hansen Yuncken, and parking at both will be free of charge.
"The beauty of this is, this is funded completely by the state government, in regional areas people don't expect to be paying for parking at a hospital and they certainly won't be at Dubbo Hospital."
Hospital general manager Debbie Bickerton said the car parking project was at the "pointy end" of the overall redevelopment.
"I think to have the additional 350 car parks in addition to the buildings that we have is really just the cherry on top because we all know how irritating it is when you come to a hospital and can't find a car park," she said.
"I think until recently that was probably our number one complaint from people coming to this hospital."
The four stage hospital redevelopment is nearing completion, marking the culmination of a long-running campaign to upgrade the facility.
"By mid next year we can probably just about say that the redevelopment up to that point is done and dusted and then we look to other opportunities," Mr Saunders said.
The opening of the Western Cancer Centre was a major milestone, with plans for a grand opening foiled by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Cancer services will continue to be rolled out on site in stages.
"All of those services are on site, not all are available at this point but we are commissioning as we go," Ms Bickerton said. "Over the next few months into the beginning of next year we'll be commissioning all of those services."
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