A key plank in the Marshall Liberal Government’s landmark plan to ease pressure on the state’s emergency departments forges ahead today as patients at Flinders Medical Centre are relocated to a new 24-bed ward opening at Noarlunga Hospital.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the opening of the new general medical ward was part of the Marshall Liberal Government’s Southern Health Expansion Plan – an $86 million investment which will transform the FMC Emergency Department into the biggest in the state.
“The Marshall Liberal Government has embarked on a billion-dollar health infrastructure build which is providing better healthcare, closer to home, and expanding the emergency department of every metro suburban hospital in the state beyond the RAH,” Minister Wade said.
“Your Government has committed to building the things that matter to South Australians and this expansion is part of delivering on that promise.”
Minister Wade said the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN) had seen an increase in demand for medical services.
“Patients will now be able to be admitted to Noarlunga Hospital for acute medical care which will importantly improve capacity across the southern health services and reduce the number of transfers to Flinders Medical Centre (FMC). This will ease the pressure on the Flinders Emergency Department and reduce ramping”.
“Currently about 3000 patients per year who present to the Noarlunga ED need to be transferred to FMC to receive the care they need; we expect that number will reduce by about 800 with the opening of the general medical ward.
“We are committed to boosting the clinical capability throughout our health services to ensure patients receive high quality healthcare, closer to home.”
Southern Adelaide Local Health Network Clinical Director of Medicine, Prof Andrew Bersten, said the introduction of a general medical unit at Noarlunga Hospital will ensure people in the outer south have access to the care they need closer to home.
“We know we have a high number of patients transferred from Noarlunga to FMC each year which can be an inconvenience to both patients and their families,” Prof Bersten said.
“A new general medical ward will now be available to patients needing these services, with the new medical unit offering additional medical, nursing and allied health staff at Noarlunga Hospital.
“The 24-bed unit will enable patients presenting to be treated on site, significantly reducing the number of patients needing transfer to FMC.
“This is an important step towards increasing the clinical capability of Noarlunga and we are excited to be able to share this with our patients and their families.”
The opening of the general medical ward follows the commencement of arthroplasty surgery at Noarlunga Hospital earlier this month and also follows patients with dementia and complex care moving from Noarlunga Hospital’s Myles Ward to the purpose built Specialised Advanced Dementia Unit (SADU) at the Repat site.
These moves will support the FMC emergency department expansion by 30 more emergency treatment spaces over the coming weeks, to become the biggest emergency department in South Australia.