Bunbury Hospital is to undergo a $14.9million redevelopment which will establish an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and expand the Emergency Department (ED).
Health Minister Kim Hames, who announced the redevelopment today, said the new ICU would be operational by early 2011. It would mean many people in the South-West requiring critical care would no longer have to be transferred to Perth.
Dr Hames said the ED expansion would be funded with $14.1million from the Commonwealth Government’s $70million WA allocation from the ‘Taking Pressure off Public Hospitals Program’.
“We identified Bunbury’s emergency department as priority for this Commonwealth funding because demand for health services in this region have grown,” he said.
“The planned ICU will provide services for the South-West and have the capacity to take patients from the Great Southern and part of the Wheatbelt.
“This will reduce pressure on metropolitan hospitals. The number of Emergency Department treatment spaces will be expanded from 15 to 27 and a 10-bed Short Stay Unit will be created.
“This will provide a dedicated observation area for emergency short stay or overnight patients and reduce pressure on beds in other areas of the hospital.
“The project will be completed in three stages with the ICU service scheduled to start next year.
“Stage two, the expansion of the Emergency Department building will be completed towards the end of 2012. The new Short Stay Unit and a ‘Fast Track’ emergency area will be completed in 2013.”
Bunbury MLA John Castrilli said the redevelopment meant Bunbury Hospital would be better placed to fulfill its role as the regional resource and referral centre for trauma and accidents in the South-West.
"Having an ICU is a vital part of catering for the growing population and this will add to the tapestry of health services in our region,” Mr Castrilli said.
“This will strengthen Bunbury’s position as a well-resourced regional centre that can adequately support the health needs of residents from Bunbury and further afield.
“The expansion of these critical care services will also help attract and retain skilled emergency, ICU and other health staff in the region.”
Mr Castrilli said the hospital was also participating in the State Government’s Four Hour Rule Program which aimed at ensuring 98 per cent of ED patients were seen and admitted, discharged or transferred within a four-hour time frame.
“This is being introduced over two years and the redevelopment will improve the quality of care and reduce delays in the Emergency Department,” Mr Castrilli said.
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