Friday, 10 August 2012
Portland District Health has launched a new campaign encouraging local residents needing surgery to use the hospital’s facilities.

The hospital is concerned that some Portland district residents are having procedures done in Warrnambool that could be more conveniently and promptly performed locally.

It also hopes to ensure its local surgical capacity is maintained.

PDH can carry out most surgical procedures on site and has an excellent record of success but its facilities are not being fully utilised.

The hospital has the capacity for an additional 400 to 500 operations each year above its current workload.

PDH is well regarded by visiting surgeons, boasts one of the lowest infection rates of any hospital in Australia, is ranked as one of the cleanest hospitals in the nation and regularly surpasses state averages in patient satisfaction.

Mr Thair Abbas is employed as a specialist surgeon and is supported by a number of visiting specialists, including surgeons from Warrnambool who are encouraging Portland residents to use the local facilities as their first option.

Last year PDH entered an agreement with Warrnambool Base Hospital for Warrnambool surgeons to use Portland’s theatre capacity on a fortnightly basis.

The waiting list for most surgeries at PDH are well below state averages.

Warrnambool Base Hospital regularly exceeds its funded target for patient numbers which means there is pressure on its facilities and patients face much longer waiting lists.

However, despite facing long delays before they can have surgery in Warrnambool, some Portland people referred to Warrnambool surgeons are preferring to have their surgery done in Warrnambool rather than in Portland. 

The visiting Warrnambool surgeons, who bring their own anaesthetist to Portland, have had only one list of patients over the past six months and are keen to increase their presence in the city. 

Acting PDH CEO Ros Jones said it seemed some Portland residents were under the wrong impression that certain surgical procedures could not be done locally.

“The reality is quite the opposite. We have excellent facilities to undertake many more surgical procedures than we currently perform,” she said.

Ms Jones said PDH was well regarded and supported by 19 visiting specialist surgeons.

“We are very proud of what we offer to the Portland community and discuss with our visiting surgeons the best way to ensure our services meet the needs of local residents,” she said.

“We have a very good track record and very competent and dedicated staff in surgery and post-surgery support. Our theatres are very well equipped with ample capacity to perform more surgical procedures for local residents.”

Warrnambool Base Hospital CEO John Krygger said both hospitals would benefit from having more operations performed in Portland.

Mr Krygger said Warrnambool-based surgeons were keen to do more procedures in Portland to alleviate problems related to limited theatre capacity and shortage of funding in Warrnambool.

“Portland has theatre space and capacity to do more surgery so it is more appropriate and convenient for patients from the Portland area to be treated close to home if possible,” he said.

“We have people from Portland on waiting lists in Warrnambool so we are encouraging Portland people to consider PDH as their first option for suitable surgical procedures.”


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