Health update: Priority now for expanded emergency services
WITH Noosa Hospital’s 10-year future sealed, local MP Sandy Bolton will now focus on delivering an expansion of the emergency department as part of a review of available and needed services.
“Our emergency department is in demand, especially during peak season, and it is vital that we extend capacity,” Ms Bolton said.
“Between the needs analysis done by the Sunshine Coast Primary Health Network, and once completed at the end of this year the Master Clinical Service Plan, we should have accurate information and data on not only our imminent service needs, but those of our future” she said.
“These may include further specialist services for our residents, and over the last two years the predominant requests into our office have been for cardio vascular, mobility, replacements and rehabilitation,” Ms Bolton said.
Mayor Clare Stewart has congratulated the State Government for securing a 10-year lease, which cements the future of the Noosa Hospital.
“The announcement that Ramsay Health will continue to operate the hospital guarantees that quality health care will be delivered to local residents and ensures that an emergency department will continue to operate in Noosa,” the mayor said.
“We understand that the state and Ramsay Health will work together and look at options for expanding services and potentially upgrading facilities over the next decade,” Cr Stewart said.
“The Noosa Hospital and the staff are a valued asset in our community.”
The agreement extends the public-private partnership which was due to run out in a matter of weeks, giving residents access to health services closer to home.
A spokeswoman for Ramsay Health today confirmed the operator would be working with Queensland Health to develop a plan for ongoing health needs including a look at ways of expanding capacity.
Labor candidate for Noosa Mark Denham said the latest agreement was “fantastic news” and thanks to the Palaszczuk Labor Government “will see the hospital continue the important service they deliver to our community”.
“As a local paramedic of over 30 years in our community, this service is much needed and takes the worry off the minds of many locals as we unite and recover from COVID-19,” Mr Denham said.
“Noosa hospital is a great hospital and this announcement means they will build on their reputation to provide high quality services to our community,” he said.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Steven Miles said the announcement meant Noosa Hospital would continue to operate an emergency department and provide inpatient services to public hospital patients in the region.
“This is great news for the community and means we will continue to increase the number of services available to the Sunshine Coast and Gympie regions, the number of public beds, reduce wait times and improve patient care,” he said.
Ramsay Health Care CEO Danny Sims said Noosa Hospital had been operating for more than 20 years under a unique public-private partnership, and looked forward to continuing the successful agreement.
“Noosa Hospital is a great hospital, providing excellent services to patients, contributing to the local economy and community, and is a major employer in the region,” Mr Sims said.
“Over the past two decades, Noosa Hospital has developed a strong reputation for providing high-quality services, and we are committed to continuing and improving on this good work.
“I would like to thank the staff and doctors at Noosa Hospital who have contributed to the hospital’s success,”
Ms Bolton said the Noosa Hospital contract came after “many months” of negotiations.
Last month, Ms Bolton voiced her frustration at “fearmongering” statements made by candidates in the upcoming state elections regarding the hospital’s tenure and services.
“I made a commitment to our residents to ensure that funding for public services at Noosa Hospital would continue, and they have and will.
“We have a wonderful facility, with a Community Board, incredible staff and volunteers who work every day for us.
“I thank Minister Steven Miles and his department, along with Sunshine Coast Health and Hospital Service for working with Noosa and the Ramsay Health Care team to not only ensure current services, but to grow them and this facility as required in the coming years,” Ms Bolton said.