The Health News – 7 March 2017

• Tweed Hospital doctors in New South Wales say patients have no choice but to go across the border to Queensland because the facility is at breaking point. The hospital was promised $48 million for an upgrade two years ago, but still haven’t received any money.

• The new Royal Adelaide Hospital (nRAH) was finally open for a first thorough look after lengthy delays in construction. The “technical completion” is expected next week. The opening of the hospital is likely to happen in the middle of the year.

• The Honiara’s National Referral Hospital received laparoscopic machine from a technology company, Olympus, which will allow doctors to perform keyhole surgery.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  7th of March 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

Senior doctors at The Tweed Hospital on New South Wales far north coast say patients are being forced to go across the border to Queensland because the facility is at breaking point.

The hospital, which has the largest emergency department in regional NSW, was promised $48 million for an upgrade two years ago but has not received any money.

“The place is log jammed, we are unable to provide a lot of services so patients have to head north to the Gold Coast,” director of intensive care Dr Mike Lindley-Jones said.

Several other senior doctors including head of emergency Dr Rob Davies said the NSW Government was not meeting the needs of the growing population.

At Tweed hospital, 50 per cent of surgery is emergency. The benchmark across the state is 25 per cent.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said he had examined the issue of overcrowding at The Tweed Hospital, but a plan to deal with it could still be three months away.

He said the $48 million promised to the hospital might not be enough.

After lengthy construction delays and legal bickering, the doors of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital (nRAH) have been thrown open for a first thorough look at the facility.

The tour included the hospital’s emergency department, a 16-bed inpatient ward, and provided views of internal courtyards and food and retail areas.

Health Minister Jack Snelling said so-called “technical completion” was expected next week, with the opening of the hospital likely in the middle of the year.

Public hospital tours would be held most likely in June, he said.

“I feel a bit like a proud dad today being able to show off this wonderful new facility to a large group of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals.”

Building defects were the subject of legal action late last year, with the Government intending to seek compensation from the building consortium for some flaws.

The hospital will be Australia’s most expensive building and reportedly the third most expensive in the world.

It’s unclear how much is being sought, but the Government said the arbitration process should be wrapped up by the end of the year.

Premier Jay Weatherill said the problems were in the past.

Honiara’s National Referral Hospital has welcomed the donation of a machine that allows doctors to perform keyhole surgery.

The laparoscopic machine was donated by technology company Olympus and is the second of its kind in Solomon Islands.

Dr Gary Mckay from the not-for-profit organisation DAISI, which stands for Doctors Assisting In Solomon Islands, has just returned from Honiara where he was teaching surgeons how to use the laparoscope.

Dr Mckay says the new equipment can serve several functions and will be useful in both diagnosing and treating a range of illnesses.

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