Greg Kennedy made quite an entrance when he arrived at the Gold Coast Private Hospital on Saturday.
The brand new $230 million facility had been open for just three hours when the 43-year-old burst through its doors at 9am.
As it turned out, Mr Kennedy was the hospital’s first emergency case.
The timber boat builder had crushed and almost severed the top of his left hand’s middle finger while using a table saw earlier that morning.
His wife, Rachael, drove him to the hospital and after being in surgery for close to two hours, Mr Kennedy walked away with his finger intact.
“The treatment I received from the hospital was outstanding,” Mr Kennedy told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
“Everyone but me was really excited having the first patient — I was just in too much pain to care at that stage but they sorted me out really quick.”
15 years ago, Mr Kennedy injured the same finger on a table saw. On that occasion he underwent three hours of microsurgery.
“Luckily, this time it was a little better,” he said.
“I was very comfortable and they did the best job they could and made sure there was no chance of infection.”
The hospital recorded another milestone on Monday when the first baby was delivered in the new maternity ward.
The baby boy arrived at 7.44am, narrowly ahead of a little girl who was born less than two hours later at 9.10am.
The Gold Coast Private Hospital is the first acute private hospital to be built on the Gold Coast in more than 20 years. It was built by Healthscope as a replacement for the hospital operator’s ageing Allamanda Private Hospital site.
With the help of local emergency services, more than 70 patients were transferred from Allamanda to the new site on Saturday.
Healthscope’s Queensland state manager, Richard Lizzio, said the transfer was seamless.
“The transfers went incredibly smoothly and we actually finished one hour ahead of schedule,” he said.
“I was walking around the wards and checking things were okay and I spoke with a couple of patients who were wowed with everything.”
The new hospital boasts 284 beds and has the capacity to expand.