By Tate Papworth
The long-awaited redevelopment of Sunshine Hospital’s emergency department is a step closer.
Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos on Friday released designs for the $29.6 million project, which will add an extra 31 treatment spaces and include a separate area for children.
About 19,700 children are expected to be seen each year in the kids-only area.
The government is also investing $5.3 million to build a new mental health and drug and alcohol centre and will create an additional 12 short stay beds and 12 treatment cubicles as part of the redeveloped emergency department.
Once complete, the number of available treatment spaces will more than double from 55 to 120, meaning an additional 59,000 emergency patients will be able to be treated each year.
“The Sunshine Hospital emergency department is one of the busiest in metropolitan Melbourne,” Ms Mikakos said. “We’re upgrading it so that more local patients can get the world-class treatment they need, faster.
“A trip to the emergency department can be frightening for kids … we’re making sure they can get the care they need in a calm, welcoming environment.”
The redevelopment has long been sought by Western Health.
In August last year a Western Health spokesperson told Star Weekly that the hospital’s emergency department was operating beyond its physical capacity, trating more than 250 patients a day.
Work on the emergency department will begin in October and is expected to be complete by 2021.
The government says 100 jobs will be created during the peak of construction.