Building work has begun on Maryborough Hospital land.
Building work has begun on Maryborough Hospital land. Valerie Horton

Warehouse to save hospital

A $1.3 MILLION Qld Health investment has raised hopes for the survival of the beleaguered Maryborough Hospital.

Wide Bay Health Service District boss Beth Norton said yesterday that a purpose-built warehouse on vacant hospital land was critical to ensure patient support.

“It is part of a Qld Health strategic supply chain initiative aimed at reducing product and freight costs to free up funds for patient care,” she said.

The 600-square-metre warehouse on the corner of Neptune Street and Winston-Noble Drive is due for completion in June.

The warehouse will supply clinical and other products to QH hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout the Fraser Coast, Wide Bay and North Burnett regions.

It will also provide new office space for shared services staff including supply, recruitment, finance, payroll and call centre personnel.

Northbuild Constructions is carrying out the work to replace a converted ward built in the 1890s.

Increases in clinical activity and the wide range of products used for patient care means the ward has passed its sell-by date.

“This supply warehouse will ensure clinical staff throughout this region have access to a wider range of clinical products closer to their point of use and enable a bigger quantity of items to be held should there be a medical emergency such as a cyclone or swine flu pandemic,” Ms Norton said.

Ms Norton said the latest QH quarterly report issued this week showed Hervey Bay Hospital and Maryborough Hospital were focused on patient care, admitting a total of 474 patients from the elective surgery waiting list between October and December 2009 – 104 more patients than during the same period in 2008.

It was the fourth consecutive quarter the number of people being admitted from the waiting list had shown an improvement.

LNP shadow Health Minister Mark McArdle was not as positive about the figures, saying they had “blown out” at Hervey Bay Hospital during the past year.

“The number of long wait patients in categories one and two – the most serious categories – increased from 46 on January 1, 2009, to 79 on January 1, 2010.”

“The minister has also failed to release the figures on how many people are on the waiting list to see a specialist in the Hervey Bay Hospital outpatient department with no information released since March 2009 when we learned 180,582 patients state-wide were waiting.”

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