Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Big boost for hospital

Shepparton Private Hospital will soon have a new day procedure unit, with a ceremony held yesterday to mark the beginning of the $4 million expansion.

KAITLIN THALS January 8, 2013 4:30am

A project 15 years in the planning began at Shepparton Private Hospital yesterday, with a ground breaking ceremony to mark the start of the $4million expansion.

The development of a new day procedure unit will provide more jobs for the community and improved endoscopy services to patients.

Funding was approved by hospital operator Ramsay Health Care last year, with completion of the unit forecast for May.

The construction and logistics of the portable building by national company APB Modular is unusual.

Ramsay Health Care Victorian development manager Michael Pain said the modular building would be prefabricated in Melbourne and transported to the Fitzgerald St site almost finished.

‘‘The advantages to the hospital is that it’s quick — site time is reduced and the impact on the hospital reduces,’’ Mr Pain said.

‘‘What would take 12 months will take us 12 weeks,’’ project manager Tim Curtin said.

Ramsay Health Care Victorian state operations manager Bronte Kumm said the day procedure unit would keep up with growing patient demands.

‘‘Day procedures are the fastest-growing area of our business, yet when the hospital was built, day procedure wasn’t as busy and people in for short procedures had to occupy overnight beds,’’ Mr Kumm said.

‘‘It (the new unit) will increase the number of operating theatres at the hospital, and people who have come for day procedures will be accommodated and recover in a state-of-the-art facility before going home. It will also free up theatre capacity in the main hospital and overnight beds.’’

Shepparton Private Hospital chief executive Sheryl Keir said it was pleasing to see the building start and she looked forward to completion, which was on schedule.

Ms Keir said four initial nursing staff members would be employed and they were yet to review the needs for the support services.

She said the new building, measuring 16m by 110m, would include a 12-bed procedure room and a 10-chair departure lounge.

The new building will be located at the rear of the hospital attached by two corridors — one will lead to the entrance and the other will be linked directly to the operating theatres.

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