A new $3 million critical care unit was officially opened at Geelong Private Hospital last week.
The unit includes six new intensive care beds and nine refurbished cardiac beds for severely ill patients, meaning the hospital can now treat more complex cases.
Intensive care director Dr Paul McGinn said the unit can cater for patients who require emergency surgery and those who undergo major elective procedures.
“It’s a combination of monitoring patients in order to try and prevent any complications from occurring and dealing with those complications when they do occur…” Dr McGinn said.
“Some of those patients previously would not have been considered for admission to this hospital because the risk was too high and in addition patients who may have had to be transferred out of the hospital when they became seriously ill can be catered for at this hospital now.”
Dr McGinn said the ageing population in Geelong was a major reason why the hospital added the new facilities.
He said having more critical care beds gives patients more choice if they want to access a local private hospital.
“The reality of our ageing population is that a large number of people in hospital nowadays are elderly and have many other serious illnesses,” he said.
“If they require major surgery, they may require extra support to get them through that particular surgery and that’s why the hospital has chosen to go down this path.”
Geelong Private Hospital general manager Janine Haigh said the hospital was now able to perform more complex surgeries because patients could receive post-operative care.
“We’ve got capacity now to provide critical care services to our surgical patients so we can do higher acuity case mix through our theatres,” Ms Haigh said.
The new critical care unit has been operating since July and was officially opened on Friday night.