BASS Coast Health’s (BCH) surgical theatres at the Wonthaggi Hosptial will be closed from May 26 until July 2017 while they are extensively upgraded to meet modern standards.
The upgrade will include the installation of new air handling units and modifications to the recovery room and central sterilising area.
CEO Jan Child said the works are part of BCH’s commitment to provide safe and quality health services to the Bass Coast Shire.
“The quickest and safest way to get the theatres completed is to close them for a short period of time.
“This allows the workmen easy access and guarantees there is no risk of infection to our surgical patients.
“Because the theatre is closed, BCH will also be unable to undertake caesarean sections.
“After consultation with the specialist obstetric medical staff it was determined that for this short period of time, BCH will also close its birthing service.
“This reduces any risk to mums who come in thinking they will be birthing normally, but then experience a complication and need to have an emergency caesarean.
“In the interest of mother and baby safety, we have deemed that the safest way to manage the closure is to arrange for births to occur at a facility that has the capacity to respond in the case of an emergency.”
BCH is working with other health services including Leongatha, Foster and Casey to make sure birthing women are booked in and cared for at neighbouring hospitals during this time.
Women will still be able to continue to receive their ante-natal and post-natal care at BCH during this period and will be able to return to BCH following the birth, should they wish to do so.
BCH is also working closely with local hospitals, GPs and Ambulance Victoria to make sure requirements for emergency surgical and maternity patients during this time are safe, timely and well-coordinated.
BCH’s operating theatre will re-open on July 24 and surgery and birthing will commence immediately from this date.
Ms Child said this was yet another step towards Bass Coast Health strengthening its capacity to meet the growing needs of the shire.
“Our updated theatre facilities will ensure we have the best environment to expand our surgical and obstetric services into the future.
“We anticipate doing more surgery, more complex surgery, and more births over the coming years as we continue our journey to providing sub-regional services.”