Baringa on standby for base hospital ahead of COVID-19 cases

BARINGA Private Hospital says it is continuing its close working relationship with Coffs Harbour Health Campus in the midst of the emerging COVID-19 situation.

Baringa Private Hospital will continue to offer to take on additional planned surgeries, as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Australia continues to increase.

Baringa Private Hospital CEO, Elizabeth Ruthnam, said Baringa Private Hospital was on standby to continue to ease the surgical burden at Coffs Harbour Health Campus to ensure the area's main public health facility had the capacity to cater for COVID-19 patients.

"We are willing to continue to perform a range of surgeries including ENT, endoscopy, general and orthopaedic surgery to lighten the load on Coffs Harbour Health Campus as the impact of the coronavirus continues to evolve and develop.

Baringa Private Hospital has offered to take on additional planned surgeries from Coffs Harbour Base Hospital if its swamped with Covid-19 cases.
Baringa Private Hospital has offered to take on additional planned surgeries from Coffs Harbour Base Hospital if its swamped with Covid-19 cases. Brendan Ray

"While we face the unknown in terms of the extent of the impact of COVID-19 in the Mid North Coast, it's vital that health providers work together to deliver the best care and treatment to people within our community."

"As Coffs Harbour Health Campus readies itself for an influx of confirmed coronavirus cases, Baringa will continue to work in concert with the public hospital and will remain to help to lighten the region's public elective surgery lists to prevent a backlog of cases down the track."

A NSW Health spokesperson said all public hospitals are planning for a potential increase in presentations of people with respiratory illness this autumn and winter.

"NSW Health is working with health facilities and clinicians to maximise available critical care resources."

"A key activity is to manage a potential increase in attendances of patients with respiratory tract infections, such as COVID-19 and seasonal influenza while maintaining services.

"This also includes monitoring intensive care bed availability, staffing and availability of critical infrastructure, such as ventilators.

The NSW Health spokesperson said the Mid North Coast Local Health District is planning for the establishment of acute respiratory clinics, similar to a fever or flu clinic concept, to screen people with risk factors for COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses such as influenza as we approach the winter season.

The clinics are part of the district's ongoing response to minimise the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
Mrs Ruthnam said Baringa was well-resourced and well-prepared to manage the impacts of COVID-19.

"All Ramsay Health Care facilities have strict infection control and prevention protocols along with well-established systems and staff to protect healthcare workers, patients and visitors," she said.

"These measures are enabling Baringa to continue to provide world-class care and treatment to patients."

Mrs Ruthnam said Ramsay Health Care was closely monitoring updates from the Australian Department of Health to ensure its facilities could respond swiftly and decisively to any changes in protocol requirements.

"Ramsay Health Care has created a COVID-19 response team to keep up to date with the evolution of the outbreak and we are also working closely with local public health units in each region," she said.

Any patients who are feeling unwell should first check their symptoms against those listed for COVID-19 on the Australian Government's Department of Health website and to phone their GP or 13 HEALTH for advice if concerned.



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