Local hospitals in healthier state
PAUL Lucas rolled into Maryborough on Thursday evening and flew out of Hervey Bay yesterday, leaving the region's hospitals in a much healthier state.
On paper at least, Maryborough Hospital has a revitalised look about, while the new Wide Bay Health District offers the prospect of a more focused, personalised, co-ordinated service in the region.
The long-awaited clinical audit of the health services on the Fraser Coast was also unveiled.
The review looked to a future in 2026 when the Fraser Coast Health Service population is projected to grow to 139,957 by 2026, a 46.3 per cent increase from 2008.
It identified a range of challenges facing the region's health service in the next 15 years.
Added to the general growth in population, the increased number of older people in this area will bring with it an even greater demand for health services, the report said.
Four key areas driving population need for services were highlighted, namely a growing and ageing population; maternal and child health issues; increasing demands for hospital services; subsequent workforce and information technology requirement.
Projected demand for emergency services by 2016 identifies a 31 per cent increase on activity recorded from that in 2008. Demand is predicted to increase by 10 and nine per cent respectively for the years 2021/21 and 2026/27.
To ensure the delivery of safe and sustainable patient care and maximise specialist workforce skills, the review found that Hervey Bay and Maryborough Hospitals should enhance the coordination of health services across the two sites.
Hervey Bay Hospital will continue to provide the majority of higher acuity acute services and Maryborough Hospital services will be enhanced.