An extraordinary number of changes have been seen in hospital services in the Gold Coast in recent years. We talked to the CEOs and General Managers of the hospitals involved, in order to understand what the changes mean for patients in their 50s, 60s, 70s and Senior years. In particular, how do the changes affect major health areas of concern for this age group, such as cardiac health, cancer, hip and knee problems? We also talked about the patient experience that can be expected.
New facilities aligned with changing health needs. Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH) made the big move to its new premises near Griffith University in September of 2013. The 170,000 square metre facility has added significantly to the services available through the public sector system in the Gold Coast.
A major deliverable has been that patients no longer have to travel to Brisbane for certain types of treatment. According to CE Ron Calvert, “The new hospital allowed us to introduce new services, many of which impact the older age groups more than others, such as cardiac surgery, radiation oncology and stem cell transplantation.” “The new hospital brought welcome changes on a large number of other fronts as well. For instance, many of our waiting lists have been reduced because of the additional capacity.” “The new hospital was also able to cater to patient expectations through its architecture and design.
There is excellent lighting everywhere, external views, lounge areas for patients and very importantly 70% of our rooms are single rooms.” “Down the track, we expect to continue growing in service areas in line with the changing demographics of the Gold Coast.
The main trends in the population profile are a significant quantum increase in population size both from young families and older people coming to the Coast, and secondly the increase in the average age of our population.” The private hospital groups are also focused on aligning their services to the changing needs of the Gold Coast population and catering for any gaps that may become apparent.
Greg Jenke, CEO of the Ramsay Group’s John Flynn Hospital in Tugun explains, “Our forward planning timeframe is long and we have to plan now for the growth that is expected five and even fifteen years from now. The nature of demographic changes, particularly the ageing population dictates not only the type of specialist services that must be.