Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath has officially opened an expanded and refurbished paediatric treatment area in Townsville University Hospital’s emergency department.
Minister D’Ath said the Palaszczuk Government contributed $1.6 million towards the project, which has expanded the number of beds from seven to 12 and created a separate waiting area for children and their families.
“Visiting a hospital can be daunting for children when they’re surrounded by big people and big equipment,” she said.
“That’s why we’ve invested in this new treatment area to create a child-friendly space right within the ED.
“I visited this project when it was just getting underway and it’s great to be back in Townsville to see the finishing touches being applied.
“Townsville University Hospital’s ED staff do an amazing job and this new area will help them keep delivering exceptional care in an age-appropriate setting.”
Bodhi Campbell, 13, joined Minister D’Ath to open the new area, having been admitted to hospital from the emergency department 12 times in the past five years.
Bodhi has severe asthma and has twice been admitted to intensive care and in 2019 was admitted six times in the space of three months.
Mum Cathy Candlett said because her son’s condition could deteriorate quickly the presentations had been at all hours of the day and night.
“I remember one night we had to rush to hospital at 2am in the morning and obviously I couldn’t get a babysitter at that time, so I had my other son Jackson in tow,” she said.
“I’m pretty sure it isn’t hard for people to imagine what we saw in the ED that Saturday night at 2am.
“It is a lot for a 11-year-old kid who is sick and uptight and worried to have to be exposed to people who are bleeding or drunk or screaming.
“I think it is a great thing to have a private and separate spot in the emergency department for children and families but hopefully this is as close as Bodhi and I come to the new area.”
Member for Mundingburra Les Walker welcomed the official opening of the facility.
“This space was made for kids and we’re really excited that we can offer care in a space that is suitable for our youngest patients,” Mr Walker said.
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the new treatment area has been custom-built to create a supportive environment for our youngest ED patients.
“About 1000 children present to Townsville University Hospital’s ED every month,” Mr Stewart said.
“One in five presentations to our ED in Townsville are children, so this facility is important.
Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said it was a great addition to the Townsville University Hospital.
“The extra beds are so important because it means we have extra capacity to treat young patients in an age-appropriate environment rather than in the main part of the department,” Mr Harper said.