Fraser Coast residents now have access to one of the country’s most advanced healthcare facilities, with the $96 million St Stephen’s Hospital beginning operations in Hervey Bay today (Monday, 13 October)
Fraser Coast residents now have access to one of the country’s most advanced healthcare facilities, with the $96 million St Stephen’s Hospital beginning operations in Hervey Bay today (Monday, 13 October).
Richard Royle, Executive Director of UnitingCare Health, the parent organisation to St Stephen’s, said the new facility was the first fully-integrated digital hospital to be opened in regional Australia, and would transform the quality of healthcare available to the Fraser Coast’s growing population.
“The ‘hospital of the future’ has 96 beds and five operating theatres, with plans to eventually expand to 180 beds,” Mr Royle said.
Its location in Hervey Bay in close proximity to the Base Hospital, and to a range of medical specialists, will enhance the services it can offer.
A courtesy transport service for patients and visitors will operate from the Maryborough Medical Centre to the new hospital. Initially, this will be a free service which will run three times per day, Monday to Friday, co-ordinated with the hospital’s surgical times.
Bookings are essential, so patients and visitors who would like to use the transport service are urged to reserve their place the day before they wish to travel. Bookings can be made at the Maryborough Medical Centre, on the corner of Sussex Street and John Street in Maryborough, or by calling 4123 8500.
Nearby Christensen House, which provides short-term accommodation to patients and their families, is available for bookings. Costs are $40 for a single room and $60 for a double and people can book by calling the hospital main reception on 07 4120 1200.
These services ensure all Fraser Coast residents have reliable and convenient access to the new hospital.
Reflecting the regional importance of this ground-breaking medical facility, the Federal Government has contributed $47 million through its Health and Hospitals Fund.
General Manager of St Stephen’s Hospital Hervey Bay, Deb Boyd, said the focus this week would be the safe relocation of nine patients at the Maryborough hospital to the new facility.
“Patients will be transported today (Monday) by ambulance and accompanied by medical staff, with a focus on their well-being, comfort and privacy,” Mrs Boyd said.
“The hospital will slowly increase the number of patient admissions to ensure a smooth progression to full functionality.”
UnitingCare Health partnered with Cerner Corporation Pty Limited to deliver the electronic medical record and medical device integration that makes St Stephen’s Hospital Hervey Bay unique in regional healthcare.
Vice President and Managing Director, Cerner Australia/New Zealand Mr Cameron Burt said: “Cerner congratulates UnitingCare Health on what they have achieved at St Stephen’s Hervey Bay with their fully integrated digital hospital.
“We are proud to be their partner in this venture. We believe the work that has been accomplished, especially in relation to medications management, integration of medical devices and connecting the hospital to the community, will bring many benefits to healthcare to the Fraser Coast for years to come. “
St Stephen’s Hospital Hervey Bay is part of UnitingCare Health (UCH), a not-for-profit private healthcare provider as part of UnitingCare Queensland, the health and community services organisation for the Uniting Church in Queensland. UCH is the only not-for-profit provider of private hospital services on the Fraser Coast.