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New medical ward opens at Bundaberg Hospital

A new acute medical ward will open at Bundaberg Hospital today, helping Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service to meet the ever-growing healthcare needs of the local community.

The new 20-bed ward will be located on Level 2 of the hospital and is part of WBHHS’s ongoing commitment to building capacity and planning for the future.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said the extra 20 acute medical beds would help Bundaberg Hospital to meet the growing health needs of the community.

“We know that Bundaberg and the broader Wide Bay region have higher-than-average rates of people aged over 65 and people with chronic illnesses, which means more pressure on acute medical beds,” Mr Miles said.

“This new ward will help alleviate that pressure by making sure more patients are getting the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

“This is an important service expansion to ensure Bundaberg Hospital can continue to meet the current and future needs of the community it serves.

“It has also led to the creation of about 30 full-time equivalent health-related jobs, which has other positive flow-on economic impacts locally.”

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board Chair Peta Jamieson said the new medical ward was an important demonstration of key aspects of WBHHS’s strategic plan, Care Comes First … Through Patients’ Eyes, by continuing to build capacity.

“Capacity is a constant challenge for our health service, which is why the Board continues to prioritise planning for future infrastructure and resource needs, to reflect the growing needs of our region,” Ms Jamieson said.

“Opening the new ward at Bundaberg will increase our capacity to a total of 40 medical beds and help the hospital meet that growing need.

“Alongside other important capital builds and upgrades – such as the new Hervey Bay emergency department, and multimillion-dollar refurbishments to Maryborough and Gayndah hospitals – the new medical ward is an important part of our plan to build capacity across the entire region.”

WBHHS Chief Executive Adrian Pennington said the new medical ward would open at 10am on February 4, and would also help to improve emergency and elective surgery performance.

“There is a constant need for inpatient beds at Bundaberg and the existing medical ward is often at capacity,” Mr Pennington said.

“As a result of those capacity issues, patients who should be in medical beds sometimes stay longer than they should in the emergency department or take up beds in other parts of the hospital such as the surgical ward.

“By adding this new medical ward we’re increasing capacity and improving patient flow, leading to patients being admitted more quickly and preventing them from taking up surgical beds.

“That in turn means we will improve our emergency and surgical waiting times, but most importantly it’s ensuring more patients are receiving the best possible care, where and when they need it.”

Last updated: 26 July 2019