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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Cardiac surgery first for Wollongong

After months of planning, negotiating, fitting out a new theatre and staging ‘dry runs’ of complex procedures, Wollongong Private Hospital has completed the region’s first cardiac surgeries.

In a statement, Wollongong Private Hospital Chief Executive Office, Steven Rajcany, said residents in the Illawarra Shoalhaven district no longer need to travel to Sydney to access cardiothoracic treatment, thanks to a Public Private Partnership between Wollongong Private Hospital and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD).  

Mr Rajcany said the commencement of cardiac surgery comes just four months after the Public Private Partnership was announced.  

“I’m so proud of our entire team for making cardiac surgery in Wollongong a reality.  Everyone has worked so hard behind the scenes, we even had a series of ‘dry runs’ with the whole team in theatre to make sure we had everything right for our first cardiac patients,” Mr Rajcany said. 

Doctor Mohammad Azari is now offering cardiac surgery to both private and public patients at Wollongong Private Hospital. He will also provide thoracic surgery for patients in the private system and hopes to offer the service to public patients in the near future. 

“Everything has gone really well. We have a very senior team of theatre nurses, ICU and ward staff and I’m very confident this unit will be a great success well into the future,” Dr Azari said. 

Head of Cardiac Services for the ISLHD, Dr Astin Lee said he was proud to deliver cardiac services for the local community. 

“This is a fantastic example of public and private hospitals working together to deliver a world-class service for our local community. I am excited to support this service and it’s wonderful that our patients and their families no longer have to travel out of our area for cardiac surgery,” Dr Lee said. 

ISLHD Chief Executive, Margot Mains has welcomed the milestone procedure, saying it heralds the beginning of a significant new era in local surgical services.  

“The provision of local cardiothoracic surgical services for the people of the Illawarra and Shoalhaven is a major development for our community. It means that many local patients will now have access to services that have previously only been available in Sydney hospitals,” Ms Mains said. 

“I am delighted that the first cardiothoracic surgery patients are receiving local care, and that our momentous partnership with Wollongong Private Hospital has now successfully commenced. I know the community is incredibly pleased to have access to such specialist local care and the LHD looks forward to the ongoing development of a strong cardiothoracic surgical service over the coming years,” she said.  

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