The ACT’s first dedicated bariatric room for the treatment of patients who weigh up to 500 kilograms has been unveiled as part of an $11 million refurbishment at The Canberra Hospital (TCH).
New treatment areas and orthopaedics wards with space for up to 60 beds are also expected to ease pressure on TCH departments and help to meet growing demand for orthopaedic surgery.
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The new area includes 32 extra orthopaedic hospital beds, with five of those to be privately managed by Calvary John James Hospital.
ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said there were four bariatric rooms for obese patients and one “super-bariatric” room for patients weighing up to 500 kilograms.
“The three other bariatric rooms on this floor are designed for people (weighing) 250 kilograms,” Ms Gallagher said.
“That comes with needing a single room, special bed, special hoist, special bathroom.
“It’s very much a sign of how hospitals are having to be built now dealing with some of the weight issues across the community.”
The space in level five of the hospital was refurbished after paediatric outpatient services moved to the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children.
Ms Gallagher said the new orthopaedic beds would be occupied from early September.
“In time we’ll also see ear nose and throat and plastic surgery move into that level as well,” she said.
“The bed occupancy in our existing orthopaedic ward is very high, we often have other orthopaedic patients located on other wards, so that’s not ideal from the medical professional’s point of view or the patients.
“This will allow a much larger orthopaedic service and we know that that demand just continues to grow.”