Patients at the newly-completed Harden-Murrumburrah hospital will all have a luxury once the province of private hospitals - a room to themselves.
All new public hospitals now being built have only single rooms, which although it involves more walking for nursing staff is generally thought to have better health outcomes, the Herald was told during a tour of the new building on Monday.
NSW MP for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke, was shown around the hospital and aged care home on Monday morning, prior to public tours of the splendid new building in the afternoon.
Ms Cooke said she was particularly pleased to be joined by the chair of the Local Health Advisory committee, John Ford, and his wife Carol, who had stuck to their guns during the project's development, despite unwarranted local criticism at some stages.
The government is curiously reluctant to reveal how much the building cost, saying only it has been delivered as part of a $300 million program. One figure bandied around is $27 million.
The new facility maintains its current 33 bed total, including flexible inpatient beds which can be used for both residential and inpatient care.
Ms Cooke said the facility will offer emergency care, acute inpatient, integrated primary and community health, ambulatory care and residential aged care in a home-like environment.
"Seeing the excitement of community members, particularly at the home-like design of the residential aged care areas, is such a testament to how welcome this new medical service is."
"The Harden Murrumburrah Hospital Auxiliary have been instrumental in this and it was a real joy to be able to be with them as they toured this facility."
Patients will be transferred from the old hospital next week.