HEALTH REVOLUTION: The age of opportunity
LOCAL students will from next year be the first in the city's history to study tertiary allied health courses locally, while learning their professions working in upgraded Coffs Harbour hospital wards.
Under an allied health and aged care revolution, huge opportunities for the region's students will also lead to improved health security for the Coffs Coast's ageing population.
As the $194 million upgrade of the Coffs Harbour Health Campus takes shape and Southern Cross University's $12-million Allied Health Centre nears its completion, the $100 million Shoreline Park Beach luxury retirement development has now gained a construction certificate.
The three projects, dovetail together to improve the Coffs Coast's standing as a retirement capital, and are linked by their prospective job creation and long-term economic return.
Developed by the Bachrach Naumburger Group, the $100 million three stage luxury aged care project on the corner of Arthur and York Sts is the largest development ever reviewed by Coffs Harbour City Council.
Leading demographer Bernard Salt, who The Advocate has engaged, for the Future Coffs Harbour forum on Tuesday, August 27, says such well thought out and planned investment in aged care and health will keep Coffs ahead of the curve.
"Public and private investment in health infrastructure and aged care living that create services for the aged, opportunities for youth and investment in local business are the building blocks of a go ahead city," Mr Salt explained.
"There is flow-on impact across a regional centre in this regard, where the improvement of infrastructure leads to training and employment opportunities for youth.
"Education priorities should be around technical skills like plumbing, electrical trades and carpenters, and in health and allied health skills, here in Australia in 2019.
Already, Mr Salt said healthcare, social assistance, aged care expansion and trades rated among the largest industries on the Coffs Coast.
SCU Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker explained the university's state-of-the-art building is set to be completed later this year, to house the university's innovative allied health degrees and research.
"We are redefining Coffs Harbour as an education destination, training a new generation of occupational therapists, exercise scientists, psychologists, indigenous health and mental health practitioners alongside our nurses right here in the city," he said.
In announcing the start of works on the new four-level Coffs Harbour hospital upgrade to be completed in 2021, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it was essential that one of NSW's fastest growing regional centres had expanded health facilities.
"The expansion will provide better facilities for Coffs Coast constituents, it will also provider greater amenities for the dedicated staff and volunteers who selflessly provide the medical services required by the community," Ms Berejiklian said