The precinct surrounding Uralba Street, Lismore, centred on Lismore Base Hospital (LBH) and above the level of any conceivable flooding, is set to become an even more concentrated health hub following news that a private hospital will be built and operated there.

The plan for the facility, to be positioned opposite the LBH site, has been developed by the Catholic Diocese of Lismore, assisted by St Vincent’s Private Hospital, located in East Lismore. The Diocese is purchasing the land and aiming to undertake ‘a competitive process to secure a specialist provider to operate its acute health services going forward’.

The announcement stressed that, ‘It is not proposed that the Diocese develop or operate the new hospital.’ 

Instead, it will be ‘funded and operated using a contemporary model led by a specialist private hospital provider’. 

The new hospital and associated medical services will ‘facilitate the provision of expanded private health service opportunities and a consolidation of existing services,’ it added.

Greg Isaac, Diocesan Business Manager, said, ‘Our vision is to see a new private hospital created, surrounded by a thriving community of healthcare professionals providing cutting-edge specialist medical services. 

‘What we know is that innovative developments, like the one we have announced, will attract additional highly skilled specialists and create more, not less opportunities for medical and health care professionals already working in the Northern Rivers region.

‘It is our unique history as a cornerstone of the community that has inspired us to think beyond the present day about how the growing and changing needs of our community will be best met for the next hundred years.’

The knock-on effects for St Vincent’s will be significant. After the new hospital is open, the Diocese intends ‘to invest more in best-in-class facilities and services at the existing hospital site in Dalley Street, transforming it into an aged care centre of excellence for the region’. 

Greg Isaac said, ‘Since 1921 St Vincent’s Lismore has had a clear purpose to provide healthcare for the community in faith, hope and charity with compassion and respect. The plan we announced today will see the legacy of St Vincent’s Lismore continue long into the future.

‘The Diocese believes the specialised delivery and operating model for the new hospital, together with the Diocese’s vision for the future of St Vincent’s Lismore's existing site, will take health and aged care in the Northern Rivers to a new level, and deliver even higher quality, patient-centred care, which is central to the values of the Diocese.

‘We’re at the beginning of an exciting journey and look forward to our patients, staff, volunteers, health care professionals and communities joining us to achieve the best outcome for all,’ he added.