South West HHS Delivers more Services to More People


The South West HHS 2016–17 annual report has been tabled in State Parliament and show that the South West Hospital and Health Service has marked a year of achievements.

South West Hospital and Health Board Chair Jim McGowan says the health service has continued to record strong levels of activity in all service delivery areas.

“Last financial year, 101,601 outpatients attended South West HHS facilities, 234 babies were born,1996 surgical procedures were performed and 37,817 patients attended an emergency department.’’

“This compares with 2015–16 when 102,402 outpatients attended South West HHS facilities, 251 babies were born, 1457 surgical procedures were performed and 38,805 patients attended an emergency department. Our oral health team also had some great successes last financial year.”

“The dental team delivered 40,072 oral health occasions of service, which was the highest level ever achieved for oral health in the South West’s history, beating the previous record of 38,908 in 2015–16.”

Telehealth is another incredible success story.

Mr McGowan says across the South West as a whole, telehealth non-admitted patient occasions of service increased by 31 per cent from 2100 occasions of service in 2015–16 to 2748 for 2016–17.

“In 2005-06, when telehealth was just starting in the South West, we delivered just 64 non-admitted patient occasions of service-We now provide access to more than 40 specialties via telehealth to non-admitted patients and our patients and clients can access telehealth at any one of our 17 health facilities across the region.’’

Mr McGowan says one of the highlights of the past financial year was the continued progress on the new $90.4 million Roma Hospital development.

“Work at Roma will crank up even further over the next 12 months, with the successful tenderer for the first early works expected to be announced by end of October, with the works expected to start soon after.’’

Other health service highlights for 2016–17 include:

• Introducing a tele-chemotherapy service for the first time in the South West for patients undertaking low-risk therapies

• Free skin check clinics introduced

• Introduced the Perioperative Introductory Program at Roma Hospital in partnership with Metro South HHS – a first for a rural facility;

• An innovative state-wide nursing exchange program was developed by the South West HHS and is being piloted with Metro South HHS;

• Accreditation achieved on all acute services against the National Safety and Quality Health

Service Standards;

• Appointed Aboriginal Liaison Officers for Roma, Charleville and St George hospitals

• Exceeded the Category 2 and Category 3 waiting time targets for elective surgery;

• Department of Health agreed to fund part of our submission for funding to purchase endoscopy equipment to support the rural generalist trained endoscopy service initiated by our health service;

• Of 31 graduate nurses who began their careers in the South West during 2016–17, 29 have chosen to continue their careers with us after completing our graduate nurse program. Mr McGowan says the health service had ended the financial year with a small surplus of about $1.6 million.

The surplus is now re-invested in health services during 2017–18, such as the $500,000 building improvement program recently completed at the Cunnamulla Primary Health Care Centre and a proposed new two-unit patient accommodation complex at Charleville Hospital.