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Shellharbour Private Hospital redevelopment to boost capacity

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More southern Illawarra residents will be able to undergo surgery, and rehabilitation, close to home with the multi-million dollar upgrade of Shellharbour Private Hospital.


Due for completion in just four weeks, the $7 million redevelopment will see the addition of a state-of-the-art Stryker integrated theatre, an expanded recovery area and the refurbishment of patient rooms.

The expansion will also pave the way for new technologies to be introduced, said hospital CEO Gary Cadwallender, such as robotic-assisted surgical systems.

And it will improve patient safety, their flow through the hospital, plus they’ll enjoy more privacy post-op with the conversion to more single rooms.

“Ultimately the upgrade is about improving the patient safety and experience and increasing the capacity of what we can do,” Mr Cadwallender said.

“The number of theatres will increase from two to three, with the new integrated theatre containing a number of features including voice-activated lights and state-of-the art equipment.

“We now conduct around 350 to 400 surgeries per month; with the additional theatre we will be able to increase that by a further 100.

“Thanks to the redesign, the patient flow will also be improved – so patients move from the waiting room to the operating theatre to recovery and then their room in a more streamlined way.”

The upgrade is just part of a planned $30 million investment by Healthe Care in its three hospitals throughout the region – which also include Wollongong Day Surgery and South Coast Private.

The hospital operator took over the three facilities from Evolution Healthcare in April 2017.

Shellharbour Private, which was officially opened in April 1975, had been in real need of an upgrade Mr Cadwallender said.

“We’ve actually reduced the number of beds we have – so instead of rooms that contained six beds we will now have 30 single ensuite rooms and six twin rooms.

The CEO in the new integrated operating theatre under construction. Picture: Sylvia Liber

 The CEO in the new integrated operating theatre under construction. Picture: Sylvia Liber

“That will ensure far better privacy, and convenience, for patients and their visitors.”

The hospital offers a range of surgical procedures, with specialties including urology, gastroenterology, gynaecology, ophthalmology and orthopaedics.

Red Eye Constructions started the redevelopment in June, and it’s had minimal impact on patients according to Mr Cadwallender.

“We’ve had extended operating hours to ensure procedures didn’t have to be cancelled,” he said.

The redevelopment is set to be commissioned by the health department on November 8, with the public invited to the official opening on November 17.