Demountable buildings are seen at Toowoomba Hospital from Wilmot St as Darling Downs Health Service prepares its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Kevin Farmer
Demountable buildings are seen at Toowoomba Hospital from Wilmot St as Darling Downs Health Service prepares its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Kevin Farmer Kevin Farmer

Toowoomba Hospital prepares more space for COVID-19 patients

FIVE demountable buildings are being installed outside the Toowoomba Hospital emergency department in preparation for more coronavirus cases.

A Queensland Health Spokeswoman said many hospitals across the state were preparing to triple emergency department capacity and double space within intensive care units, if and when required.

"The community can rest assured that all necessary work is occurring to respond to this outbreak," she said.

"One example of this preparedness is installing demountable buildings at Toowoomba Hospital.

"These buildings will expand Emergency Department capacity if and when required."

The new demountables will be used to boost clinical treatment capacity at the hospital, as well as increasing equipment storage and office space.

Demountable buildings are seen at Toowoomba Hospital from Wilmot St as Darling Downs Health Service prepares its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Kevin Farmer
Demountable buildings are seen at Toowoomba Hospital from Wilmot St as Darling Downs Health Service prepares its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Kevin Farmer Kevin Farmer

"Increasing capacity across Queensland's hospitals is not just about fitting more beds into our EDs - it's about increasing capacity across the system - in our hospitals, through GPs, through virtual clinics, through telehealth services, and through other means," she said.

"As part of our planning, Queensland Health is adding additional ventilators, stockpiling medicines and equipment,, ensuring adequate staffing levels including redirecting clinical staff when needed and adding additional capacity with fever clinics."

Construction has started on the demountables and is predicted to be finished shortly. 

The move comes as coronavirus testing restrictions have been relaxed across the state.

As of yesterday, more than 390 people have been tested for the virus at the drive through centre at Baillie Henderson Hospital.

Testing is now also possible for people who have a fever or history of fever or acute respiratory symptoms, and who works in vulnerable settings such as aged care or detention facilities, or lives in an area of outbreak or in an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community.

Prior to this, testing was only available to those who had been overseas, on a cruise, or in contact with a positive case.



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