Upgrades to the Peel Health Campus emergency department and short stay ward will resume this month after a temporary halt caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The refurbishment is part of a $10 million overhaul of the hospital, which also includes expanding the car park, implementing a new nurse call system and increasing security.
The ED waiting room will be redesigned and a fast-track area created to improve the triage system while additional beds will be added to the short stay ward.
WA Company Devlyn Construction is responsible for the contract and expected to employ around 100 people as part of the project, which is due for completion early next year.
Health Minister Roger Cook said the upgrade would ensure Peel Health Campus kept pace with demand in the growing region.
“We anticipated having to delay these works until about October so this is a real testament to the response of the community in getting this virus under control,” Mr Cook said.
He revealed one new case of COVID-19 had been diagnosed overnight, a returned international traveller who is now in quarantine.
Mr Cook said the McGowan Government was yet to received confirmation from the Commonwealth Government that it would allow travel to the Kimberley biosecurity zone but was “encouraged by the unofficial discussions that have gone on”.
“We believe it is just a matter of the paperwork being lined up and signed so we don’t anticipate any delay (to the June 5 deadline).”
Mr Cook said the Federal Department of Agriculture’s refusal to grant an exemption that would allow 56,000 sheep from the Al Kuwait – currently stranded in a Baldivis feedlot – to be transported on a different vessel was not “optimal”.
“We are just working with what we’ve got in front of us,” Mr Cook said, adding transporting the sheep in the northern hemisphere summer was not an ideal outcome either.
He said the sheep would now be sold off into the local market.