Manager for Health Planning and Infrastructure Peter Heath and manager for the Northern Cluster Beth Norton present the new Emergency Department at the Bundaberg Hospital.
Manager for Health Planning and Infrastructure Peter Heath and manager for the Northern Cluster Beth Norton present the new Emergency Department at the Bundaberg Hospital. Max Fleet

Hospital upgrade unveiled

MORE than two years after the original deadline, Bundaberg Hospital's brand new emergency department is about to open its doors.

Construction finished a few weeks ago and yesterday the NewsMail was invited to take a first look at the new facility.

The new emergency department was originally scheduled to open in July 2008 but construction delays blew the timeline out.

The budget also ballooned with the upgrades surpassing the originally estimated $42 million project by $8 million.

Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Health Service District Northern Cluster manager Beth Norton said the new department, which was a part of the hospital's $50.1 million upgrade, would open in early September.

“The new department will have 19 additional treatment rooms which will meet the needs now as well as having places to meet the future needs of Bundaberg,” Ms Norton said.

The emergency department, on the ground floor of the new building, features a larger reception area with high security glass, as well as a larger waiting room for adults and a separate waiting area for children.

The family unit will move into the first floor of the building which will provide it with direct access to operating theatres to cater for emergency birth procedures.

“The current family unit will be refurbished to house a new rehabilitation unit,” Ms Norton said.

“Once they have moved, the rehabilitation unit will be refurbished for an additional 20 medical beds.”

The current emergency department will be converted to become the hospital's pharmacy.

Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey said it was exciting news for staff to have a new facility in which to work.

“We really need to ensure that while this facility meets the needs of the community that there is a regional health plan in place,” he said.

“What we've seen is it's not just infrastructure and is not just more beds but hospitals, GPs and allied health professionals working together to provide health care for Bundaberg.”

The refurbishments are expected to be completed by mid next year.



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