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  • Gail Sedorkin

    Journalist

    Email Gail Sedorkin

    Government grant matches community fundraising to deliver new cardiac catheter lab


    The addition of a second $2.8 million cardiac catheterisation laboratory will increase capacity at Cairns Hospital by up to 1400 extra cardiac patients.

    During his first visit to Cairns Hospital in his new role as Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Mr Steven Miles announced the new laboratory which is due to open late in 2018.

    The State Government has matched the $1.4 million dollars raised through the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation for the project.

    “Demand for cardiac services in the far north is ever-increasing due to a growing and ageing population,” Mr Miles said.

    “The $2.8 million dollars will fund the fit out, construction and the latest equipment for the new cardiac catheterisation lab.

    “This commitment will significantly expand the Cairns Hospital’s ability to respond to increasing demand for this service and provide the highest quality patient care.”

    “The second cardiac catheter lab will be adjacent to the Cardiac Unit and Cardiac Investigations Unit in Block D creating an integrated cardiac service all on one level.”

    Cairns Hospital’s Clinical Director of Cardiology Dr Greg Starmer said as well as increasing capacity, the range of cardiac services will also be expanded once the facility is completed.

    “Currently, people who need Electrophysiological services (EPS) need to travel outside the Cairns region, usually to Townsville but it will become available in the new cardiac catheterisation lab, meaning more far north Queensland patients can be treated closer to home,” Dr Starmer said.

    “This expansion represents a major advancement in the delivery of comprehensive, high quality cardiac services to the far north region.”

    Patient activity at the cath lab has almost doubled since 2013, according to the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service.

    The 11-year-old lab became a 24/7 service only two years ago. CHHHS has submitted a business case for capital funding for a new cath lab with recurrent costs already approved in principle by its new board.

    Dr Starmer said public patients currently needing the service are placed on a long waiting list and ultimately sent to Townsville.