The dedicated COVID-19 healthcare facility at the Repat Health Precinct will soon be available in preparation for the impact of coronavirus.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the completion of the revitalised wards, with the former Wakefield Hospital and ECH College Grove also ready for use, ensures that South Australia is well placed to deal with any resurgence in cases.

“Our strategy in establishing dedicated coronavirus facilities is to reduce the impact of the virus on our existing hospitals, to maintain ongoing health services and reduce the risk of transmission”, Minister Wade said.

“South Australia is leading the nation in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and it is important that we continue to prepare for all possible scenarios that may unfold in the future.”

“Hopefully, we will never need to use these facilities, but this investment is important insurance against the unexpected. COVID-19 is new, its unpredictable - we have to plan for the unexpected."

Minister Wade said caring for COVID-19 patients in a dedicated facility will provide a greater level of protection for the wider community, should there be a need.

“Despite low numbers of the virus currently in South Australia, we still need to be vigilant in preparing for any potential second wave.

“The health of all South Australians is our highest priority. To protect the health of all individuals, we are committed to slowing the spread of the virus while significantly boosting capacity within our health system."

Minister Wade said SA Health was exploring a range of options to use the facility post-COVID-19 including elective surgery, transition care and dialysis.

“We made a commitment to South Australians to revitalise the Repat into a thriving medical and wellbeing hub and we are delivering on that promise. The Repat was built to support our war effort in World War II - it is apt that it should play its part in the battle of our generation, the battle against coronavirus.”

The dedicated COVID-19 facility in Wards 5-8 at the Repat is delivering an additional 90 beds available if required for the fight against the virus.”

The former Wakefield Hospital is also now complete, with the installation of a new $1.9 million CT-scanner, bulk medical oxygen tank and 130 beds.

Both of these facilities will be complemented by the 58 beds available at the ECH College Grove Facility to help ease the pressure on our acute hospitals.

The Department for Health and Wellbeing’s Executive Director of Infrastructure, Brendan Hewitt, said work has been undertaken around the clock to prepare the health system.

“We have been working hard to ensure the Repat COVID-19 facility will be completed in the coming weeks, with the installation of fixtures and fittings, new ceilings and fresh paint and finishes to revitalise the space,” Mr Hewitt said.

“We would like to thank the efforts of a number of local contractors who have been working tirelessly to prepare the facility at the Repat for use within the short time frame.”

The Repat facility is expected to be completed in about a month and be available to operate as a dedicated COVID-19 healthcare facility if needed.