OUR SAY: Health cements its already crucial position

ANOTHER milestone has been reached in a years-long effort for another private hospital in Orange, but the wait has made the progress no less exciting. 

With the announcement that agreements for the first few tenancies are close and the rest of the building is open to inquiries, plans for the empty former drive-in cinema are starting to take shape. 

Partners James Richmark Pty Ltd and Zauner Group, which some would remember built the Orange Regional Museum, say they’re taking lessons from their previous success, the Garden Medical Centre in Albury. 

Those lessons are as simple as the number of lifts they need – Albury has three, so Bloomfield will have four, despite a requirement for just two.

One of Albury’s lifts caters for hospital beds, while all four of Bloomfield’s will once the facility is built by mid-2019. 

The design of the building has been considered to give all employees and visitors a view. 

The operator for the private hospital remains unannounced, but James Richmark previously indicated choosing one by the end of the year and spokesman Patrick O’Halloran reiterated on Wednesday he remains confident. 

From inquiries to date, he also expressed a hope that the facility would not only attract specialists within Orange, but potentially also attract them from other areas.

We have a good record in this regard. 

Orange Health Service welcomed urologist and ex-serviceman Dr Gordon Brown earlier this year, from New Zealand, featured on page 2 with his Movember effort. 

Many of the hospital’s staff have moved from other areas and through efforts by organisations like the University of Western Sydney, which is bringing a host of students to Orange next week to experience what it could be like to live in a regional area, this is likely to continue. 

We’re hearing that a lot of the inner-CBD commercial property is being taken up by health services and the amount of traffic on the roads during business hours is testament to the number of people on shift work, either in the health sector or in the mines. 

Any area needs to be wary of being a one-trick pony and Orange is no stranger to the concept after its experience with the Electrolux closure, but its central position in the region is making it a go-to for treatment and more services can only be a good thing.