Bundaberg Hospital.
Bundaberg Hospital. Mike Knott

Planning starts for new public hospital

WITH the success of the current Bundaberg Hospital, there are plans to build a new hospital.

"A business case is currently being developed to build a new Bundaberg Hospital," Mr Pennington said.

"This is only the first step and it may be a number of years away until such a project goes ahead, but it's important to plan for the future to ensure we can continue to meet the community's growing needs."

The Bundaberg Hospital is ahead of the game based on the Australian Medical Association's 2017 Public Hospital Report Card.

While the main issues affected by the lack of funding, highlighted in the AMA report were bed to patient ratios and the Emergency Department waiting period for urgent patients, the Bundaberg Hospital's performance was better than the national average for the month of January.

"As a public health service in a region with high health needs, Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service will always have to manage the challenging balance between demand and efficient delivery, but we're confident we're currently maintaining the right balance," Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Adrian Pennington.

"We continue to perform strongly, with 100% of elective surgery patients treated on time, specialist outpatient clinics meeting waiting time targets and a significant 36.1% increase in cancer care appointments."

AMA president, Dr Michael Gannon said "Emergency department waiting times for urgent patients (patients who should receive care within 30 minutes) have worsened and, in most cases, remain well below the target set by governments to be achieved by 2012-13".

The Bundaberg Hospital's median waiting time is 22 minutes - Bundaberg's urgent patients are receiving treatment in record time.

"During January 2017 some 4,447 patients attended the Bundaberg Hospital emergency department. Our median wait time for these patients was 22 minutes, which is below the Australian median wait time," Mr Pennington said.

"Across all five categories of seriousness/urgency our median emergency wait time was well within the Australian Median Wait. 

"Any patient triaged as categories 1, 2 or 3 would be considered urgent."


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