Please attribute to Mackay Hospital and Health Service Chief Medical Officer Dr Charles Pain.
Since being appointed Chief Medical Officer in October last year, I have been enormously impressed by the extraordinary dedication of the clinical teams and other staff at Mackay Base Hospital and the dignity with which they have responded to the concerns that have been raised about their hospital, and the exceptional commitment they have shown to providing care to their community, through very challenging times.
I wish to reassure the people of Mackay and the region that they have highly-skilled teams of nurses, doctors and allied health professionals at the Mackay Base Hospital who are dedicated to serving them with professionalism and compassion, and who are making a huge effort to restore confidence in the services that they provide. They are supported by a great team of non-clinical staff who keep our health service operating and have the same commitment to providing care to their local community.
I see this dedication and compassion displayed every day, and their ongoing clinical excellence has been recognised in many areas in recent months including in the provision of cardiac, stroke and intensive care services.
The community can have further confidence in the overall standard of our care thanks to our recent accreditation assessments against the National Safety and Quality Service Standards which placed our health service under thorough and rigorous examination.
I’m pleased to share with our community that after these assessments that the Australian Council of Healthcare Standards provided accreditation to Mackay Hospital and Health Service for the next three years.
While we’re proud of this achievement, our staff are also continuing to work hard to make changes in areas where we can improve. This includes our team working in partnership with women to implement recommendations made by last year’s Obstetrics and Gynaecology Investigation into Mackay Base Hospital.
We are conscious of how important our maternity services are to the community of Mackay, and to their confidence in us. The last few months have seen a number of staff changes in our maternity services and we are currently focussed on recruiting midwives and senior doctors, who will join a team which is welcoming and united in their commitment to enabling pregnancy and childbirth to be the joyful and safe experience that it should be. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to the staff who have remained loyal to this hospital and continued their dedicated service to the community.
Although registrar training for obstetrics and gynaecology was suspended last year, we’re working with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology to satisfy them that we have sufficient senior staff to provide the supervision necessary to restore our accreditation, which is the main impediment to recommencing training. We are hopeful that we can do this during the second half of the year.
The suspension of training does not affect Mackay Base Hospital’s maternity service provision, but it is very important to restore this as a sign of our return to normal and demonstration that we are a teaching unit.
Recently there has also been media coverage of general surgical training accreditation at Mackay Base Hospital.
This issue is unrelated to the obstetrics and gynaecological investigation and should not be linked to it. We are committed to working with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons to address their recommendations so that our general surgery registrars can return to Mackay Base Hospital by the end of the year.
Our highly-skilled surgeons continue to provide elective and emergency general surgical procedures to our Mackay community.
Finally, I would like to thank the staff at the Mackay Base Hospital for their dedication to service and offer my sincere thanks to the community of Mackay for their continued moral support while we re-build their trust in us.