Imagine a hospital where you can press the buzzer and a nurse instantly appears on the screen in front of your bed to deal with your request.
A facility which allows your obstetrician to monitor your baby’s movements from afar by linking into the room’s CTG machine via mobile phone.
Or a hospital where medical students on another floor – or anywhere around the world – can watch and learn as surgery is performed live onscreen in front of them.
Well that hospital is about to become a reality – in fact it will open in Wollongong on January 2016.
Two years ago the first sod was turned on Wollongong Private Hospital in Crown Street – now the finishing touches are being put on the state-of-the-art facility.
The 151-bed hospital, next to Wollongong’s public hospital, will occupy 4.5 floors of the eight-storey building being developed by AW Edwards on behalf of AA Crown Holdings.
The medical, surgical and maternity services offered at Figtree Private Hospital will move to the site, while new services will include cancer care, cardiology and – from July next year – cardiac surgery.
Ramsay Health Care NSW regional hospital operations executive manager Malcolm Passmore said the facility was expected to set a new benchmark in private hospital facilities.
‘’It includes such innovations as the video to nurse call, which allows patients to talk directly to a video operator who can direct the right person to see to their needs,’’ he said.
‘’This is only available in one other Ramsay hospital in Australia where it has dramatically increased response times for patients.
‘’There’s also provisions to allow obstetricians to confidentially link with the system using their mobile phones to review CTG monitoring of patients and take action.
‘’And there’s eight i-suites with the latest electronic and video capabilities including cameras built into the operating lights to live feed surgical procedures internally or externally with consent.’’
It’s full steam ahead for the hospital with patients – including maternity patients – already being booked in, while the recruitment of staff is ongoing.
However while most health insurers have signed up, negotiations are ongoing with health insurance giant Medibank. Mr Passmore said unless an agreement was made, Medibank Private and ahm members would not be covered at the new hospital.
‘’We will continue to negotiate with Medibank and would like to get an answer by the end of November.’’
Meantime Ramsay has withdrawn its bid to purchase the adjoining Wollongong Day Surgery after the ACCC cited concerns that it could result in higher prices and fewer options for day surgery in the region.