Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Health Services District’s chief executive officer Kevin Hegarty shows off the new community health services centre to Northern Cluster manager Beth Norton and nurse unit manager for Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs Services Scott Patterson.
Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Health Services District’s chief executive officer Kevin Hegarty shows off the new community health services centre to Northern Cluster manager Beth Norton and nurse unit manager for Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs Services Scott Patterson. Max Fleet

Community health moves

BUNDABERG Hospital’s multimillion-dollar expansion is starting to come together, with all community health services moved into their new building on the corner of Hope and Bourbong streets.

Services at the centre include support of new mothers, aged care, the sexual health clinic and Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Services. The services were previously located at the hospital.

A rehabilitation unit will be built at the old community services premises.

“The (community health centre) building has been set up for people to feel welcome to come here,” Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Health Services District chief executive officer Kevin Hegarty said.

“Part of the benefit for the hospital is that we can utilise the space to the maximum for hospital beds.”

Mr Hegarty said the $45-million expansion was on track for the emergency and maternity departments to be completed by June and a new oral health clinic by late 2011.

The expansion project has already been causing problems at the hospital, increasing elective surgery waiting lists due to an operating theatre being shut down.

Member for Burnett Rob Messenger believed the closure of the theatre was an example of why a local board would be a more efficient way to run the hospital.

“This information should have been shared with the local community through medical professionals and their elected representatives before the event, not after official statistics forced the bureaucracy to own up and explain why,” Mr Messenger said.

The closure of the operating theatre saw 485 patients treated for elective surgery in the 2009 December quarter, compared to 542 for the same period in 2008 — a decrease of 57.



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