Hospital hits project goals

BUNDABERG residents can sleep easy knowing the Bundaberg Hospital expansion project will see an increase of 36 general ward beds.

The project, which began earlier this year, will see a new medical ward and a refurbished mental health unit.

Bundaberg District Health Community Council chairwoman Josie Meng is eager for the completion of the project.

“It will be wonderful for the community,” she said.

“I think it will be fantastic to see what happened in the planning stage come together at the completion.”

Mrs Meng said hospital staff are looking forward to seeing the finished product.

“I think everybody is excited,” she said.

“It will be a better environment for everyone.”

The medical ward will have the capacity for 50 beds, which is up 20 beds on its previous capacity.

The new emergency department and maternity building is set for completion in June 2010.

A new $9.5 million oral health clinic is also in the works.

Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Health Service District Northern Cluster manager Beth Norton said the clinic would increase chair capacity from six to 13 and would include an updated dental laboratory and sterilisation unit, allowing the hospital to provide a greater range of oral health services.

“This is a busy service that provides around 16,700 occasions of service per year and has an annual budget of $2.7 million,” she said.

“There is significant demand for oral health services throughout the State, including in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay.”

Ms Norton said the demand was due to a number of factors.

“This is compounded by a nationwide shortage of dentists, a growing and ageing population, and more people keeping their teeth as they get older,” she said.

The oral health clinic is on track to open in late 2011.

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