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Local hospitals in great shape

A new reports shows there is increasing demand for health-care services on the Sunshine Coast.

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Local hospitals in great shape

A new reports shows there is increasing demand for health-care services on the Sunshine Coast.

The Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS) has released its 2017/18 annual report, which highlights how much demand has grown for services since the opening of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

Among some of the more impressive figures are the 284 babies born at SCUH in August last year and the $17-million redevelopment of the Caloundra Health Service, which began last November.

More than $3 million was invested every day to provide health care to the community, an increase of 22 per cent from the previous financial year.

However, Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has expressed concerns about the reported operating loss of $13.9 million as the wage and salary bill increased by $99.27 million across the health service.

Queensland’s Minister for Health Dr Steven Miles says an extra 368 nurses, health practitioners, medical staff and operational staff were employed in that time in order to offer Coast residents the best in health care. He predicts a balanced operating position in 2019.

SCHHS board chair Dr Lorraine Ferguson says 2017 and 2018 included a lot of important milestones and achievements for the service.

“The commissioning of SCUH Stage 2 built environment and preparation for, and opening of, new tertiary services continued,” she says. “In January the Paediatric Critical Care Unit opened, providing much-needed care for critically ill or injured children closer to home.

“Work on the redevelopment and refurbishment of the Caloundra and Nambour hospitals continued this year and we will see increases in a number of beds and services at these facilities as works are completed.”

The roles of the Nambour and Caloundra hospitals have changed since the SCUH opened in March 2017. Nambour General Hospital’s capacity has reduced from 425 to 137 beds. Redevelopment of the hospital is expected to be complete in 2022 and will see bed capacity increase to 251.

The Caloundra Health Service has reduced to 34 beds and by the time refurbishment is completed at the end of 2018, the number will rise slightly to 46 beds and bed alternatives.

The annual report says Nambour and Caloundra will be fitted out with purpose-built infrastructure that will assist in the delivery of allied services and models of care that will reduce the demand on the SCUH.

The second stage of the SCUH program will build on the capacity of the hospital, with bed capacity to increase from 507 to 602 beds.

There are also plans for additional clinical spaces and new tertiary services and specialisations such as vascular surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, head and neck surgery, maternal foetal medicine, complex paediatrics, neonatology, cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, trauma, thoracic surgery and interventional neuro radiology.

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