The $2.8M facility, jointly funded by the State Government and money raised by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, will allow an extra 577 cardiac patients to be seen next year.
Donors to the Hospital Foundation were joined by the Member for Cairns, Michael Healy, Health Service Deputy Board Chair, Luckbir Singh, FNQ Hospital Foundation Board Chair, Dr Ken Chapman and Director of Cardiac Services, Dr Greg Starmer, as they were given a tour of the construction site.
Mr. Healy said that the project showed the government’s and the community’s support for the hospital.
“The community’s $1.4M in donations to the second Cardiac Catheter Laboratory for Cairns Hospital is a credit to the people of Cairns and Far North Queensland,” he said.
“Combined with the State Government’s matching $1.4M investment, we’re now starting to see the fruits of our labour.
“The new laboratory will expand the hospital’s capacity to treat cardiac patients closer to home, employ more staff and provide new services for the region.”
Dr Ken Chapman said that the generosity of the community and the foundation’s advocacy was a tremendous benefit for the Health Service.
“We had $423,000 in donations towards the Cath Lab in a short space of time, with some donations in excess of $100,000. The community really got behind this project,” he said.
“Combined with funds from Cardiac Challenge, Car for Cardiac, Christmas Wrap and The Power of Pallets, it shows how serious, and how committed the community of Cairns and Far North Queensland is to having top quality medical services at Cairns Hospital.”
Dr Greg Starmer said that the Cardiac Unit had an exciting year ahead.
“When the second Cath Lab is finished, we will be able expand our capacity to offer specialist diagnosis and treatment of abnormal heart rhythms and prevent sudden death by implanting defibrillators, cardiac resynchronisation and ablation procedures,” he said.
“It will also provide additional capacity for cardiac angiograms and angioplasties, including for acute heart attack patients.
“We now have an electrophysiologist working full time, and this year we will be commencing new research in conjunction with the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, complimenting the 12 multinational research programs the unit is currently involved in.”
The Cardiac Catheter Laboratory is expected to be completed mid-2019.