New cardiothoracic services

Illawarra Shoalhaven patients will soon receive complex cardiothoracic treatment close to home, with the region’s first specialist Cardiothoracic Surgery Service opening this year.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said a team of some of the state’s best cardiothoracic surgeons, anaesthetists, intensivists and cardiologists will join nursing and support staff to provide the Illawarra community with world class cardiothoracic care.

“The Local Health District has partnered with Wollongong Private Hospital to provide a top quality service to local cardiothoracic patients so they will no longer have to travel to Sydney for treatment,” Mr Hazzard said.

The new, integrated service will be provided at both the public Wollongong Hospital, and at Wollongong Private Hospital, with recruitment commencing shortly.

Member for Kiama, Gareth Ward MP, said: “There are tremendous benefits for the local community, and the local health experts have ensured we get the best use of the specialist workforce in the area for the benefit of all cardiothoracic patients.”

Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) Chief Executive, Margot Mains, said many public and private cardiothoracic patients requiring a complex level of care will no longer need to be transferred to Sydney hospitals to receive treatment.

“The District is absolutely delighted to team up with our colleagues at Wollongong Private to provide extensive cardiothoracic services staffed by top specialists, right here in the Illawarra,” Ms Mains said.

ISLHD Board Chair Professor Denis King OAM, said cardiovascular disease will continue to be a major health issue for the Illawarra Shoalhaven community into the future, particularly as the population ages.

“This service will enable the LHD to further develop interventional cardiology services, so more people will have access to preventative treatments for cardiovascular disease. It also means the District will be able to attract even more highly specialised health professionals to our region,” Prof King said.

Wollongong Private Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Steven Rajcany, said: “We are always looking for ways to improve the quality of life for those in our community,

which is why we are excited about this collaboration between public and private healthcare sectors in the Illawarra.”

Patients will be able to access an extensive range of specialist cardiovascular and thoracic care when the new service opens in the second half of 2021.

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