NSW Labor Leader Michael Daley has announced that Labor will invest $395 million to upgrade St George Hospital and give it the capacity to perform state-of-the-art robotic precision surgery.
Mr Daley made the commitment today alongside Shadow Minister for Health, Walt Secord, Kogarah MP, Chris Minns, Rockdale MP, Steve Kamper and Labor candidate for Oatley, Lucy Mannering.
As part of the hospital upgrade, the major trauma centre at Kogarah will receive a new ambulatory care unit, outpatient and day surgery services, a new day rehabilitation unit and additional subacute inpatient beds Mr Daley said:
“If Labor is elected in March, St George Hospital will get a full hospital upgrade with robotic surgery. Unlike the Liberals, we’re putting hospitals and patients before stadiums.”
In addition to the $385 million announcement, Labor will allocate an additional $10 million for robotic precision surgery at St George Hospital. The robotic surgery will focus on urology, general surgery, gynaecology, thoracic and ear, nose and throat surgery.
- Benefits of robotic precision surgery include:
- The required length of stay for patients is reduced;
- Studies have identified better overall health improvements;
- Patients suffer less bleeding during surgery; and
- Reductions in complications and infection rates.
The robotic surgery facilities would establish St George Hospital as the referral hospital for specific surgeries within the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.
Mr Minns said: “Labor can invest more money into St George Hospital because we aren’t proceeding with the Liberals $2.2 billion stadium splurge.”
Mr Kamper said: “St George Hospital is under enormous pressure and that’s why we need innovative solutions like robotic surgery to help improve healthcare for local patients.”
Ms Mannering said: “Bringing robotic surgery to St George Hospital will improve patient outcomes, save money in the long term and help bring our hospital into the 21st century.”
St George Hospital facts St George Hospital has one of the State’s busiest emergency departments seeing more than 81,000 patients a year, with 37 per cent of patients waiting longer than four hours. As of September 31, there are 1,459 patients on the official elective surgery waiting list.
In the last reported quarter, St George Hospital is performing 12.7 per cent more surgery than at the same time the year before (1,317 surgeries in the third quarter 2018 compared to 1,168 in the same period in 2017). In the last year, there were 1,117 urology elective surgery procedures completed at St George Hospital and it is expected a portion of these would be completed through robotic surgery in an attempt to improve outcomes, reduce complications and reduce the length of hospital stays.
Currently, the median wait for elective surgery is 188 days with 10 per cent of patients waiting longer than a year. Emergency department patients at St George Hospital also face long waits, with 37 per cent of patients still in the emergency after waiting four hours or more.