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Mater Bundaberg marks history while looking to future

Bundaberg Mater
Mater CEO Dr Peter Steer and Mater Private Hospital Bundaberg executive officer Catherin Hackney marked the first of a series of celebrations for the hospital's 75th anniversary yesterday.

Staying contemporary while maintaining a strong sense of tradition is key to Mater Private Hospital Bundaberg remaining an iconic community service and first-class health provider.

That is the opinion of Mater Bundaberg executive officer Catherine Hackney who said the hospital’s contemporary staff members were as committed to delivering the best possible compassionate care as the nurses who worked in the facility’s first wards in the 1950s.

Speaking at the launch of the hospital’s 75th anniversary celebration year today, Catherine said the Mater Bundaberg embraced the future and the past in delivering care to its patients.

“The hospital has changed a lot (in 75 years) and so have the people, but what I’m very proud to say is the spirit, and the care, is consistent and remains true to our values,” Catherine said.

“Sisters of Mercy who once nursed patients at the Mater Private Hospital Bundaberg in its early years continue to play an important role at the hospital today, often visiting patients and passing on their knowledge to the next generation of health care workers.

“We keep with the times but the heart of what we at the Mater try to do is care for the whole person.

“And that spirit of care and giving and hospitality is essential to the type of care that we want to deliver for our patients.

Catherine said the merging of the Mater ministries throughout Queensland last year ensured regional staff, including those based in Bundaberg, had access to the latest training, education, and research in health care.

Helping to mark the milestone was Mater CEO Dr Peter Steer who met with staff members and other local health leaders to discuss existing and future health challenges and opportunities facing central Queensland.

“The future of the Mater is extremely positive,” he said. “We’ve had, again, a 120-year history of serving community (and) meeting unmet need.

“In partnering with government and other community providers, we are having an impact not just on people who are sick but, as we reach out now, making an impact on the health and well-being of the broader community.”

Bundaberg to benefit from merging of Mater ministries

Peter said the merging of Mater ministries to create one unified organisation would strengthen the service offered by regional Mater hospitals including Bundaberg.

“It’s very difficult for any regional centre, in this day and age, to run a comprehensive service,” he said.

“The harsh reality is that, as times have changed, our capacity has changed, technology has changed, research has delivered new modalities of care.

This richer, broader platform provides a critical mass, the balance sheet, that allows Mater Bundaberg to not just survive in a very difficult environment but, in fact, thrive as we provide shared resources right across the back of our services.”

Peter said Mater was committed to exploring all opportunities for additional partnerships and collaboration in the future to enhance health outcomes for the Bundaberg community.

“I hope this is the first of many visits to Bundaberg in 2021 as the public and private health systems continued to collaborate to improve the health of regional Queenslanders,” he said.

The history of Mater in Queensland dates to 1861 when the Sisters of Mercy arrived in Brisbane and recognised the community’s desperate need of services, including healthcare, leading to the establishment of a temporary hospital in Brisbane’s North Quay in 1893 and the first true Mater Hospital at South Brisbane in 1910.

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