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Concerns Raised Over Risks for Patients and Staff in Australian Hospital



The report raises three options for redevelopment but recommends the most expensive full redevelopment of the two buildings at a cost of $41.7 million.

But Health Minister John Hill responded with a statement, "The WCH is managing the identified risks associated with an ageing infrastructure and all other risks identified in the organisation to provide for maximum patient and staff safety on the WCH site," the statement said.

Despite increasing community acquired infection rates, the number of hospital acquired infections had decreased over the last four years, the statement said.

However, doctors and nurses have said that cross-infection is one of their biggest concerns.

WCH specialist pediatrician Dr David Thomas said it was a particular problem in winter, with extra demand on services.

"Cross-infection is one of the biggest concerns in the current structure; it's very difficult for patients to be isolated in a single room," said Dr Thomas, who is also chairman of the Australian Medical Association's Child and Youth Health Committee.

"Patients are often cohorted together and may or may not have the same infection."

AMA state president Dr Peter Ford described the report as "disturbing".

"If these issues identified are causing measurable effects, we should really move to address these issues immediately," he said.

Hospitals across the state were battling with ageing infrastructure.

"I feel that the budgetary allowances for maintenance do not seem adequate to cope with these various areas of urgent need," Dr Ford said.


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