Thursday, July 29, 2021

Weipa hospital upgrades improving health service

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Weipa’s first CT scanner is just weeks away from being turned on as the Cape’s biggest hospital undergoes major renovations.

The hospital also has a new pharmacy and renal dialysis unit as part of an $8 million funding commitment from the state government.

Weipa Hospital CT scanner
Image: Cape York Weekly

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the relocation and upgrading of the pharmacy and renal dialysis unit was completed last month.

“The relocation and upgrading of the renal dialysis unit also involved an increase from two chairs to three, allowing for more people to be dialysed locally,” she said.

Ms Lui said the Weipa nurse-assisted dialysis unit currently cared for five patients, with an increase to seven expected in coming months.

“The new pharmacy also provides the hospital with the most up-to-date facilities for the storage and distribution of medications and other pharmaceutical supplies,’’ she said.

The $8.86 million works also include a refurbishment of the medical imaging department to house Weipa’s first CT scanner, the creation of a new primary healthcare clinic and the establishment of a birthing centre.

The hospital air-conditioning and chiller systems also are being progressively upgraded.

Work on the new primary healthcare clinic has been completed and the clinic will start delivering services from early this month.

Ms Lui said work on the new CT scanner space was expected to be completed and the scanner operational by late May, subject to timely arrival of the scanner from interstate.

The new birthing suite is expected to be completed in early 2022 with the first local births occurring soon after, possibly in April next year.

The new birthing unit will be located adjacent to an existing ward, as well as the hospital operating theatre.

Ms Lui said the upgrading works represented a major investment in Weipa hospital and the Weipa community and, once complete, would deliver a significant upgrade in clinical services capacity at the hospital.

The CT scanner project, which was announced last year, has been funded by a $1.15 million partnership between Rio Tinto and Old Mapoon Aboriginal Corporation, together with a $1.35 million contribution from the Queensland government.

“The new CT scanner means between 40 and 50 patients a month from Weipa and the wider Western Cape region will no longer need to travel out of the region for clinical investigation,” Ms Lui said.

“With the scanner on site, Weipa doctors and visiting specialists can perform more services here in Weipa.

“This will allow the continued delivery of high-quality health care within the Western Cape region and faster access to potentially lifesaving scans for cancer, stroke and other medical conditions.’’

Cape York Weekly 3 May 2021

This article appeared in Cape York Weekly, 3 May 2021.

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