The Friendlies Bundaberg has celebrated the first anniversary of its emergency department which has treated more than 9000 patients since opening.
Celebrating the milestone, Friendly Society’s senior manager of business development Stuart Bonnett said the emergency department had been well received by the Bundaberg community.
Private Emergency Health Australia director Josh Derrington has been involved since the emergency department reopened one year ago.
Mr Derrington said he was incredibly proud of how the department had not only operated, but also how it was received by the Bundaberg community.
“It has been going really well with a much higher presentation than we had expected,” Mr Derrington said.
“The community has supported it and we are very grateful.”
Mr Derrington said the previous after-hours emergency had dwindled after it became harder to organise.
“Predominantly we have specialist, high-level doctors and it’s fantastic it’s been well received by the community,” he said.
“We are thankful to the community for the support, which has ensured that we never have to close.”
Friendly Society Private Hospital chief executive Alan Cooper said patient numbers at the emergency department in its first year showed solid community support.
“We knew there was a need in the community for this service, as our patients were telling us all the time,” Mr Cooper said.
“It is good to see that reflected in our patient presentations, but also in the positive feedback we receive about the service and its doctors and nurses.
“We have worked hard in our first year to deliver specialist emergency care during times people need it most, all while offering minimal wait times.”
Mr Cooper said in its second year The Friendlies would consider opening the ED for longer hours.
“If the community need is there, it is certainly something we want to look at as we head into our second year,” he said.
Patients support Friendlies Emergency
The Friendlies Emergency Department treated a range of patients and conditions in its first year, from acute injuries, broken bones and heart attacks through to minor health complaints.
“Part of our focus is to continue our level of service. Patients to our ED receive a follow-up call the following day and letters are sent to their regular GP, as well as being able to return within seven days for the same complaint without incurring any additional out-of-pocket costs,” Mr Cooper said.
“We continue to offer no out-of-pocket charges for Workcover and DVA patients.”
Bundaberg Regional Councillor Wayne Honor attended the celebrations and said it's a wonderful facility.
“It's a really great move forward for the Bundaberg Region to have a state-of-the-art emergency department here in the Friendlies Hospital,” Cr Honor said.
“We have doctors that are second-to-none in Queensland and we have an enthusiasm to drive the health provision for people of the region and outside of the region forward into the century.
“I would like to extend my congratulations to all of the directors, senior staff, the wonderful volunteers and everyone who works in this wonderful hospital.”
- Other news: Positive response to Friendlies emergency department in first six months