It has been more than two years since a master plan for the $434 million Shoalhaven Hospital redevelopment was released - for the first time in that period there may be action.
The Shoalhaven City Council Development and Environment Committee will vote tomorrow night to reaffirm its support for the redevlopment of the current hospital site.
However, Councillor Nina Digiglio says the council should be pushing for a greenfield site.
She says a greenfield site would be cheaper, offer more room for essential services and be more easily accessible.
"This is a 100-year-old hospital and we need to stop band-aiding with expenditure that could be placed into a brand new site with new infrastructure," she said.
"In the NSW Government's 2017-18 budgets the new Tweed Hospital on a greenfield site was estimated to cost $582 million, and it's bigger than the Nowra hospital.
"Let's do this once and get it right."
Enough space for more specialists and more specialty beds, such as stroke beds, is a particular priority for Cr Digiglio, who is also a nurse.
Keeping patients close to home often improves treatment outcomes.
The additional space would also enable separation of people presenting for mental health, drugs and alcohol and prison inmates from general emergency admissions, who are often the very young and very old.
Cr Digiglio said Shoalhaven Hospital could continue normal operations during construction on a greenfields site, and afterward become a centralised hub for allied health services, which are currently spread throughout the Nowra CBD.
However, the motion slated for Tuesday night notes that it is unlikely NSW Health will consider a greenfields option, due to the recent investments in the current site, including an $11.8 million multi-story carpark.
While the council can support the current redevelopment plan or advocate for another option, ultimately the decision rests with NSW Health.
Health Infrastructure has not yet committed to a start date, but has said work will begin during this term of government. The next state election is in 2023.