The future of private hospital care will be ushered in when Wollongong Private Hospital opens next year.
The finishing touches are currently being put on the state-of-the-art Ramsay Health Care facility, two years after construction began.
With less than two months until doors open in January, bookings are already being taken. And now, details have emerged of what the hospital’s first patients can expect.
Picture this: a hospital where you can press a button and a nurse instantly appears on the screen in front of your bed to deal with your request.
A facility which allows your obstetrician to monitor your baby’s heartbeat from afar by connecting to the room’s cardiotocography machine via their mobile phone.
Or a hospital where medical students on another floor – or anywhere around the world – can watch and learn as surgery is performed live on a screen in front of them.
Ramsay Health Care’s New South Wales regional operations manager Malcolm Passmore has confirmed those are the kind of facilities patients can look forward to.
“[The hospital] includes such innovations as the video to nurse call, which allows patients to talk directly to a video operator who can direct the right person to see to their needs,” Mr Passmore said.
“This is only available in one other Ramsay hospital in Australia where it has dramatically increased response times for patients.”
The 151-bed hospital will offer all major services including an intensive care unit, eight operating theatres, a procedure room, a cardiac catheter laboratory and a day oncology unit.
Wollongong Private Hospital chief executive David Crowe said patients will have access to facilities that haven’t previously been available.
“New services on offer at the hospital will include cancer care, cardiology and from next year, cardiac surgery,” Mr Crowe said.
“Patients in the region who previously travelled to Sydney for these services will now be able to access high quality doctors and services in Wollongong itself.”
Ramsay Health Care currently operates the 100-bed Figtree Private Hospital in Wollongong, but with the lease expiring in January, the company spent some time investigating options for the future delivery of private hospital services in the region.
The medical, surgical and maternity services currently offered at Figtree will be moved to the new hospital in January, after which time a rehabilitation service will operate out of the site.
Mr Crowe said another benefit of the new facility, which is being built adjacent to Wollongong’s public hospital, is the increase in size by another 51 beds.
“We are ensuring the necessary infrastructure and services are right here in Wollongong to better service the growing health care services of the whole region,” he said.
The recruitment of hospital staff is ongoing.