The Albanese and Malinauskas Governments are working together to fast track more beds at Flinders Medical Centre, as planning for the $400 million jointly funded upgrade commences.
An extra 26 new acute inpatient beds will open at Flinders Medical Centre in the next few weeks helping ease pressure on the hospital’s emergency department.
A further 16 beds – from the 136 that will be added as part of the $400 million upgrade – will be fast tracked to open in the first half of 2024, four years ahead of schedule.
The additional 26 acute inpatient beds will be rapidly brought online at Flinders in a space vacated by a less-acute ward shifting to a more suitable location at the Repat.
These beds are in addition to the State Malinauskas and Federal Albanese Labor governments’ 50/50 investment of $400 million for a 136-bed upgrade of Flinders.
These 16 beds will be created by clearing and refurbishing an existing admin area – which is being shifted to other spaces within or directly adjacent to the FMC site.
Clinical consultation and design for these fast-tracked beds will begin in coming days, with works expected to start later this year.
The $400 million upgrade also includes new surgical and procedural spaces, and updated site infrastructure.
Extra MRI and CT scanners are also due to come online in mid-2023 to improve access to radiography and reduce scan wait times for both the ED, inpatients, and outpatients.
Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:
Our partnership to provide a once-in-a-generation upgrade at Flinders Medical Centre is part of Labor’s commitment to addressing the ramping crisis and ensuring Flinders is well-equipped to deliver high quality care.
My Government is committed to working with all State and Territory Governments to put patients first and strengthen Medicare.
We’ve already slashed the cost of PBS medications, saving South Australians more than $1.2 million over the month of January, and have opened up Expressions of Interest for five new Medicare Urgent Care Clinics in South Australia.
Quotes attributable to Health Minister Mark Butler:
The Albanese Government is working with the Malinauskas Government to strengthening Medicare.
People in the southern suburbs deserve the best clinical care and this will enable our highly trained staff to do their very best for the community.
We know how vital it is to open every extra bed that we can, to boost services for the expanding southern suburbs.
Quotes attributable to South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas:
Our Government has been clear that one of our main priorities is addressing the ramping crisis that we inherited from the previous Liberal government which failed to take any action.
We are delivering a generational investment to rebuild the health system.
We are building more than 200 beds in the south, and we are working hard to bring those beds online as soon as possible.
Quotes attributable to South Australian Minister for Health and Wellbeing Chris Picton:
We know a major cause of ramping is bed block and hospital overcrowding, so this significant boost in bed numbers will help ease the strain on our health system.
While the Liberals’ solution to ramping at Flinders was to cut acute beds, only making the problem worse, we are delivering more acute beds, ensuring people who need hospital admission will be moved to a bed faster.
Quotes attributable to SALHN Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Freeman:
Our staff are so pleased that these much-needed beds are being fast-tracked for delivery.
The beds will enable our dedicated clinical staff to improve access to care by being able to move people from the emergency department into a bed in a timely manner.