The new Bundaberg Private Day Hospital will begin operating next week. Meet Dr Jai Panchapakesan and take a first look inside.
The state-of-the art medical facility will be able to treat more than 8000 patients a year and attract specialist services to the region.
The first surgeries are already booked for the Bundaberg Private Day Hospital and owner Dr Jai Panchapakesan said the multi-million dollar facility was an exciting opportunity for the Bundaberg Region.
“Bundaberg doesn’t have a facility exclusively dedicated to the special needs of day surgery,” Dr Jai said.
“I felt there was a need for a really top-quality day surgery facility that does that one thing and does it really well but across many specialties.
“Our facility, equipment, staff, services and programs are all tailored to getting patients home sooner and safer, and we are increasing the region’s surgical capacity.
“I can walk in to here and know that when I’m operating I’m doing my absolute best both in terms of facility, staff and equipment to deliver some great results.”
Dr Jai said the Bundaberg Day Hospital’s two operating theatres, minor procedures room and four consult suites were all equipped with the latest surgical equipment, sterilisation and anaesthetic technology.
“Our modern facility has been custom planned by surgeons for surgeons and is licensed to provide endoscopy, dental, urology, gynaecology, fertility, plastics, skin cancer, maxillofacial, ophthalmology and orthopaedic procedures,” he said.
“We’re a growing and an ageing area. We do need more capacity to be able to have timely, high-quality surgery.
“It increases the opportunity to have a wider range of surgery done locally.”
Day hospital will attract specialists
Dr Jai is a well-known local ophthalmologist, operating Dr Jai Eye Centre since 2004, and has sub-specialty training in laser vision correction and lens implant surgery.
He said the new facility created an exciting new pathway not only for this specialty but for many others.
“One of the most exciting things is we’ve now got our treatment room which is beyond specifications to become a laser vision correction room in the future.”
With easy access to the airport and a number of consulting rooms he said the Bundaberg Private Day Hospital would bring more specialists to town.
“It’s going to be easy for them to fly in, come to our facility, consult here, do their treatments, see their post-ops here in our consulting suites and then have a really easy transition back to their own practices.
“We’re hoping we can actually get a wider range of sub-specialty surgical services as well.”
Public patients needing cataract surgery will also benefit from the new facility after Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service and Bundaberg Private Day Hospital announced a public-private partnership agreement.
Bundaberg Private Day Hospital a ‘win'
Mayor Jack Dempsey, who is speaking at tonight’s official opening of the day hospital, said the facility was a win for the local community.
“The Bundaberg Private Day Hospital is a modern facility with the latest technology serving not just the Bundaberg Region but the wider region as well,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“It’s great to see this investment in the region and it's no doubt another sign of confidence and positivity.
“It’s magnificent to have these facilities in the area to provide a high standard of medical support for this great community now and in to the future.”
Chief executive Elizabeth Rankin is a Brisbane-based consultant who has been involved in the construction of about 10 hospitals throughout Australia.
She said the Bundaberg Private Day Hospital was state of the art and ahead of current standards.
“It’s a beautiful facility, I’m very proud of this facility,” Ms Rankin said.
“It has the ability to take care of at least 8000 more patients a year in town and it will attract more doctors and specialties to town.”
She said more than a dozen people would be employed at the facility from next week but the region’s economy would experience many more positive flow-on effects from the services they would employ including linen, catering, cleaning and waste disposal.
Surgeon hooked by ‘holiday town’
Dr Jai said after 15 years in Bundaberg he “couldn’t be more thrilled” to be opening the new day hospital.
While his initial training in ophthalmology was undertaken in Sydney, Dr Jai moved to Queensland to complete his fellowship and fell in love with the Bundaberg Region.
“We really feel like we are very lucky.
“We live in what feels like a holiday town but 15 minutes later I’m in a bustling business centre doing work at the same level – and now with our new facility – at a higher level than I would have done if I’d stayed in Brisbane or Sydney.”
Bundaberg Private Day Hospital is at the corner of Johanna Boulevard and Commercial Street.