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Inmate Who Escaped From Hospital Recaptured After Major Police Search

An inmate who escaped from a hospital on NSW's mid-north coast has been caught after he was tracked down by a police dog.

Matthew Furner, 28, was being treated under guard by Corrective Services NSW officers when he absconded from Port Macquarie Base Hospital before 8am on Sunday.

He had been taken to hospital on Saturday after sustaining injuries to his neck at the Mid-North Coast Correctional Centre and it's believed he fled while using the toilet.

A large-scale search was launched with local police, highway patrol, the dog unit and PolAir scouring the nearby area but it was suspended at 6pm because the search area had become too large, a NSW Police spokesman told AAP.

About 7.15pm, police pursued a vehicle which came to a halt after striking a roundabout on the Pacific Highway at Frederickton. The driver, Furner, fled on foot.

An extensive search of the highway led police to the vicinity of Quarry Road and Seashore Lane in Frederickton, where Furner was seen trying to enter a property.

A police dog tracked him to a paddock where he was arrested.

Furner is expected to be charged with escaping lawful custody when he appears in Port Macquarie Local Court on Monday.