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Preparing for your hospital stay

Elective Surgery changes due to COVID-19

Preparing for your hospital stay

There are a number of things to think about and plan before a hospital stay. On this page we talk you through your healthcare options, how to prepare for a stay with us, and what you can expect when you arrive.


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Choosing health care

Eligible Australian residents may choose to receive private or public hospital services that can both be delivered from a public hospital.

Overseas visitors from countries that have signed agreements with Australia are entitled to emergency public hospital services free of charge. Phone Medicare on 132 011 to find out if this applies to you.

Public health care

If you choose to be a public patient, generally hospital services are free of charge. However, you may have to pay a nominal fee for some services. If costs apply, they will be explained to you.

Private health care

If you have private health insurance, you may be eligible for private treatment at no cost. Our staff will assist you to record your choice using the Patient Election Form.

Long-stay patients

There is no cost for public patients while they require acute care. The standard acute care period is 35 days. This period can only be extended for a declared medical reason.

If there is no medical reason for acute medical care after this period, a daily fee, set by the Commonwealth Government, will be charged. Staff will discuss this with you or you can talk to a Social Worker.


Our staff are here to support you and care for you while you are a patient in our hospital. All staff and volunteers wear hospital identification badges that include their photograph, name and job title and they will introduce themselves as they care for you. If you are concerned about the identity of a visitor, please contact a staff member.

Pre-admission clinic

Prior to non-urgent surgery, you may be required to attend a pre-admission clinic. The clinic is conducted for patients who are booked for surgery and for some diagnostic procedures. Most often you will be seen by the nursing staff, medical staff and anaesthetic staff. Consultation with them will identify any health problems that need treating prior to surgery; any tests you may require; allows for any discussions regarding instructions/education on the plan of your care and provides time for you to ask any questions about your procedure.


All planned admissions come to the following locations:

Bundaberg Hospital – Short Stay Admissions Office on Floor 1

Maryborough Hospital – Main reception

Hervey Bay Hospital – Central Admissions desk in Reception.

Here staff will check that your contact details and paperwork are up-to-date. You will need your Medicare card and any relevant concession cards such as a pension or healthcare card. You will also be asked for details of private health insurance if relevant. If you are being treated for a condition for which you may recover damages from another party, you will be asked to supply all relevant details to the hospital, at the time of admission or before discharge.

Once you arrive in your designated ward or Day Surgery Unit, you will be issued with an identification band as part of your admission. The identification band will state your name, date of birth and hospital identification number.

You will be asked to confirm these details and state what procedure you will be having multiple times by different staff. This may be frustrating to repeat, but this is a very important safety process.

Under the National Healthcare Agreement between the Commonwealth and State Governments, all patients admitted to public hospitals are to be given the choice to be treated as a public or private patient. In response to this, Queensland Health has developed a ‘patient election form’ that you will be asked to complete before or on admission. Please ask to speak to a Patient Option Liaison Officer if you would like to discuss this further.

How to prepare for your operation

What you can do

  • Follow the pre-operative instructions given to you
  • Tell the doctors and nurses about any medication you take
  • Ensure all your details are correct
  • Tell the nurses if you have any difficulty with mobility or will need special care when you are discharged home
  • Let us know if you require a medical certificate
  • Arrange special transport home if required
  • Check and make sure you understand all the information on the consent form before you sign it
  • Ask your doctor or nurse if you are not sure about anything.

Day procedures

Our Short Stay or Day Procedure units cater for a range of patients and procedures requiring same-day stay. The units support surgical activity and endoscopic procedures such as gastroscopies, colonoscopies and bronchoscopies. Unless otherwise advised, you will be discharged home the same day or following day.

When you are well enough, a nurse will discharge you according to your doctor’s instructions and give you information regarding your post-operative care. You may have a little discomfort at your operation site. The nurse is the best person with whom to raise any questions or concerns you or your carer may have. It is imperative that you and your carer follow your post-operative instructions.

Staff from our day units will phone you on the next business day after discharge to check on your progress and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that when we try to call you, the hospital number will display as private.

Arriving on the ward

If you are being admitted as an emergency admission you will be collected from the Emergency Department and taken to your bed by ward/unit nursing staff. Details of the ward layout and services will be explained at this time. Your admitting nurse will assess your needs and commence your care.

Personal effects

You will need night attire, a dressing gown, slippers, underwear and toiletries such as soap, shampoo, a toothbrush and toothpaste, hair brush, razor and tissues.

Patients should bring their Medicare card, pension and health benefit cards, letter from your referring doctor (if any), any medications you are currently taking, relevant private x-rays, glasses and hearing aids.

If you have an enduring power of attorney (medical treatment), or advanced health directive, please bring a copy.

If you are staying overnight you will have a bedside locker for your personal belongings. It is helpful if all your belongings are labelled with your name.

Please do not bring large amounts of money, jewellery or other valuables into the hospital. Please leave these at home. While our staff take every care, WBHHS does not accept responsibility for any loss or damage that may occur to items you bring into hospital.

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service

Last updated: 10 September 2020