St Stephen’s Hospital Maryborough is actively pursuing a public-private partnership arrangement with Queensland Health to develop a palliative care unit as well as a transitional care unit at the hospital.
We believe that this arrangement would be a centre of excellence for the Fraser Coast region. The model would be sustainable in the long term and would meet a need that has been identified by both the community and health care service providers. The proposed care centre will be a health hub for patients who have needs that can best be accommodated in such a specialised setting. Services to be provided will include, specialist palliative care physicians and nurses; a consultant gerontologist, allied health team and an information centre.
St Stephen’s Hospital Maryborough has experienced ongoing viability issues for a number of years. This is due to declining patient volumes, relating to many complex issues including the limitations of types and complexity of medical and surgical care that can be provided in Maryborough. This is also because specialist doctors no longer reside in Maryborough and GPs are increasingly focused on primary care in the community, not hospital care.
In exploring all the options over the past few years, we have established that an ideal solution would be to create a specialist service catering to both public and private patients. This will create the necessary patient volumes to ensure long-term financial sustainability.
We acknowledge that Maryborough/Hervey Bay Friendly Society Chemists has expressed interest in the future of St Stephen’s. No formal proposal has yet been received.