Extra hands, healthy hearts
BUNDABERG heart patients are now usually able to see a specialist within two days, thanks to having a second cardiologist in the area.
South African Hermann Wittmen joined André Conradie at his practice about four months ago, following discussions with Dr Conradie about the cardiac needs of the region.
The doctors said with two cardiologists in Bundaberg it meant there was no delay for emergencies and a majority of outpatients could be seen within 48 hours of requesting an appointment.
“I think what an extra cardiologist means is that we can reduce the wait time and we can also increase the service to both public and private sectors,” Dr Conradie said.
He said an extra pair of hands also reduced the need for Bundaberg patients to travel to Brisbane to see a heart specialist.
Since Dr Wittmen arrived, the two cardiologists have been able to provide more hours to the Bundaberg Hospital.
Dr Conradie said the pair had been slowly trying to build up the services available at the hospital.
“It is still not quite the full service spectrum but it is improving,” he said.
Both doctors said they were looking forward to the completion of the Friendly Society Private Hospital’s extension in 2011 which will provide a cathlab – a specialised theatre which will help the doctors x-ray and examine the heart.
Dr Wittmen, who has 22 years experience in private practice in Johannesburg, said during his first year in Australia, Dr Conradie would be conducting something similar to a peer review to ensure his qualifications met Australian standards.
Since his time here, Dr Wittmen said he had noted Bundaberg had some major cardiac needs.
“I think the biggest problem (for cardiac care) in the Bundaberg Hospital is that we require a cardiac department. I think we will be able to provide all the services but we certainly require more equipment,” he said.