02/02/2021

A landmark state government project which will transform the Flinders Medical Centre Emergency Department into the biggest in the state began construction today.

Premier Steven Marshall said the job-creating expansion was part of the $86 million Southern Health Expansion Plan delivering better healthcare, closer to home, for the residents of southern Adelaide.

“This landmark expansion forms part of a billion-dollar infrastructure build which is upgrading the emergency departments of the major hospitals in Adelaide’s north, south, east and west to ease pressure on health services throughout the system,” Premier Marshall said.

“More than 100 jobs are being created throughout the construction period of the Southern Health Expansion Plan, which includes transforming the state’s busiest emergency department into the biggest. This is not just boosting health service capacity but also creating and maintaining local jobs.”

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the landmark $86 million Southern Health Expansion Plan, of which $8.5 million will be invested directly into the emergency department expansion, would ease pressure on emergency departments throughout Adelaide.

“FMC ED has seen a steady increase in presentations over the past five years. We are committed to expanding the ED, so staff can continue to deliver timely emergency care to those in need,” Minister Wade said.

“The expanded ED includes up to an additional 30 treatment spaces so the hospital is better equipped to meet growing demand, which will in turn assist in reducing ambulance ramping and ease pressure on EDs across the system.

“The expansion also includes additional resus bays, an expansion of the short stay unit, and a complete refurbishment of the paediatric ED sub-unit with better separation from adult treatment areas.”

In October last year, an additional nine emergency doctors were recruited to FMC, allowing 12 beds in the Emergency Extended Care Unit (EECU) to come online - doubling its previous capacity.

The FMC ED expansion is part hive of activity renewing emergency departments, including the beginning of construction of the $58 million ED expansion at Lyell McEwin Hospital, and a new ED forming a key part of the $314 million upgrade at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Clinical Director of Emergency Services SALHN, Dr Andrew Blyth, said the Southern Health Expansion Plan (SHEP) significantly increases the ED footprint improving access to treatment spaces for all patients presenting to ED and is part of ongoing work to minimise the wait time and improve care for patients attending the department.

“Phase one of works has now commenced on the southern side of the ED, with construction expected to be completed by mid-April and phase two on the northern side to commence shortly after,” Dr Blyth said.

“This is an exciting time for health in the south and we appreciate the understanding of both staff and patients during this time as we work extremely hard to continue the delivery of high-quality care in a more modern environment, despite the minor disruptions throughout the construction period.”

The Flinders Medical Centre ED will remain operational while work is underway, with plans to minimise interruptions to service delivery in place.

Works are expected to be completed later this year.

Sourced from the Premier of South Australia’s website: Building A Better Emergency Department for Flinders Medical Centre