Taking burden off Tweed hospital

By NEELIMA CHOAHAN

THE ever-growing burden on The Tweed Hospital is expected to ease following yesterday's opening of a new emergency department across the border.

The state-of the-art $40 million Robina Hospital facility which opened its doors to patients yesterday, has the capacity to handle more than 30,000 patients a year. This is the second public emergency department on the Gold Coast, the other based in Southport. The Tweed Hospital treated approximately 21,000 people in the first five months of this year. Of these an average 30 per cent, or 6100, patients were from Queensland. A spokesman for the North Coast Area Health Service said it was great news for the entire area.

"Obviously this is a well-planned and well-resourced service, and it is welcome news for communities on both sides of the border," the spokesman said.

While declining to speculate on exactly how much impact the new Robina emergency department would have on the busy Tweed hospital, the spokesman said some change was inevitable.

"Logic would suggest the new facility would accept a number of patients that are currently going to, or are brought to, the Tweed Heads hospital," he said.

However, he said nothing could be said until results from a study about the impact of the new facility became available.

"The Director of Emergency Training at Gold Coast Hospital, Dr James Lind, has proposed a joint research program between Queensland and NSW Health and most particularly between Gold Coast Hospital and The Tweed Hospital," he said.

"It will investigate the importance of an additional emergency department at Robina on surrounding areas, including Tweed Heads."

The research will make a comparison of the situation in the area both prior to and after the opening of the new emergency department at Robina.

"We have been asked to participate in it and we have agreed," the spokesman said.

"It would seem likely that the facility would have some impact on The Tweed Hospital, but we would have to wait until results are due."

A spokeswoman for Queensland Health said they were committed to working together to provide health care for the residents of the Far North Coast of NSW and Gold Coast.



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