The former Wakefield Hospital’s transformation to a fully-equipped dedicated Covid-19 response facility is now complete.
Premier Steven Marshall said the hospital's reactivation, bringing another 130 beds online if needed, was a key part of the state government's plan to prepare for the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” Premier Marshall said.
“By establishing this dedicated coronavirus facility, we can reduce the impact of the virus on our existing hospitals and protect South Australians from the peak of the pandemic.”
The reactivation of the site at Wakefield Hospital will complement other dedicated facilities at ECH College Grove and the Repat - creating 278 additional beds throughout the health system.
The expansion of the Flinders Medical Centre Emergency Department and the Modbury Hospital redevelopment have also been fast-tracked, creating an extra 30 treatment spaces and 16 beds respectively, to boost hospital capacity during the pandemic.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Stephen Wade, said the government was focused on preparing the health system for the challenges that lie ahead during this global crisis.
“Caring for COVID-19 patients in a dedicated facility will provide a greater level of protection for the wider community,” Minister Wade said.
“While we are continuing to boost the capacity throughout our health system, we want to encourage all South Australians to take simple steps like good hand hygiene and social distancing to eliminate local transmission of the virus.”
SA Health’s Executive Director of Infrastructure, Brendan Hewitt, said his team had been working around the clock to prepare our health system to ensure South Australians have the best possible care.
“The former Wakefield Hospital is now equipped with a new $1.9 million CT-scanner, a bulk medical oxygen tank and 130 beds to help ease the pressure on our acute hospitals if required and treat COVID-19 patients in the dedicated space,” Mr Hewitt said.
“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of organisations such as Rotary Australia who have kindly donated necessary hospital items such as over-bed tables and wheelchairs to ensure the dedicated COVID-19 facility is up and running as soon as possible.
“We would also like to thank the efforts of a number of local contractors who have been working tirelessly to complete the transformation at the Wakefield hospital in less than a month.”