Putting Health First: 20 Extra Hospital Beds at RDH

The Territory Government today announced an additional 20 hospital beds will become available at Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH) following the opening of new ward Palmerston Regional Hospital.

Less-complex patients are being transferred from RDH to a newly opened ward at the Palmerston Regional Hospital (PRH).

Additionally, an eight-bed 48-hour care surgical service will commence at PRH, further freeing up capacity at RDH, meaning more efficient care for emergency surgery patients.

These short-stay surgical beds will see ear, nose, throat (ENT), urology and gynaecology procedures performed at the Palmerston campus for the first time.

This additional capacity is also supported by extending the scope of Hospital in the Home services, or ‘Virtual Wards’, to safely care for patients in a range of locations including private homes, commercial accommodation and residential aged care facilities.

The increase of Hospital in the Home services is supported by the increase of uptake in Telehealth services in the NT due to COVID-19.

Today’s announcement builds on the announcement two weeks ago that 100 extra frontline health workers would be employed in NT Health to assist in the NT’s response to COVID-19. ­

These 100 frontline staff will be on the NT borders, in airports and at hospitals ensuring the health and safety of Territorians during these uncertain times.

The safety of Territorians has been the Government’s first priority throughout this public health emergency.

The Government has delivered a number of key health and hospitals projects in this term of government.

Across the Darwin/Palmerston Hospital Campuses in this term the Government has:

  • Delivered a co-funded $170 million 116-bed Palmerston Regional Hospital, creating 380 Jobs during construction and 450 ongoing local jobs;
  • Undertook $72 million of co-funded re-development projects at Royal Darwin, including: Re-developing the main entrance to include outpatients, Phlebotomy and Transit Lounge areas, Aboriginal Liaison Offices, an RTM office and an updated lift lobby, re-developed the Paediatric Ward to include adolescent beds, a new Allied Health Facility and upgrades to four hospital wards and bathrooms;
  • A $12 million multi-storey car park at RDH, delivering free parking and 150 jobs during construction;
  • Delivered the Territory’s first PET scanner at RDH and expanded the number of chemotherapy chairs at the Alan Walker Cancer Care Centre, $40 million of investment; and
  • Developed the NT Clinical Services Plan to inform the RDH Master Plan to guide future infrastructure investment based on evidence and projected clinical demand.

As noted by Chief Minister, Michael Gunner:

“Throughout this crisis we’ve all been reminded of how important our healthcare workers are. Our government is backing them in.

“We will keep doing whatever it takes to protect Territorians, including investing in our hospitals, because we always put the Territory first.”

As noted by Minister for Health, Natasha Fyles:

“We have shown we don’t cut health care, we invest in health care and always will.

“In this term we have delivered projects that Territorians need and are based on clinical demands; these 20 extra beds are an example of that.

“Under the CLP health services in the Northern Territory suffered. Territorians deserve high quality health care and we’ve shown we provide better, more flexible options.”

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