Community General


The Port Pirie Hospital is set to get a clinical simulation training laboratory. It’s part of an $8.6 million investment in the hospital in today’s State Budget. The laboratory will assist in training for medical, nursing, and allied health clinicians when on placement in Port Pirie. It’ll also support the ongoing education of existing staff in the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network.

Mann:… the state budget is set to be handed down later today, but as per usual there’s been a trickle of announcements in the lead up from the State Government.

This morning we’re learning the Port Pirie Hospital will have a multi-million-dollar funding injection which includes the establishment of a new clinical simulation training lab.

Isabella Carbone spoke with Geoff Brock just moments ago and asked him what the facility will do for the region.

Geoff Brock: Well this has been in the wind for many years now and we tried this with the previous Government, we couldn’t get any traction whatsoever, but one of the things through the Uni Hub and Anita Kuss was very passionate about trying to get a nursing simulator similar to this but to have it on top of the hospital or in the hospital itself, but that was about $1 million.

That was going to be pretty fantastic but since then what we’ve been able to do is work with the hospital board and they’ve expanded that smaller simulation training facility to train nurses on the spot in Port Pirie like it was many, many years ago, to expand it into looking at the opportunity to do not only nursing simulator but … also allied health and also other medical staff and things like that … this is now not going to be located on the hospital itself, it’ll be located around about the GP Plus in the hospital grounds there but this is ground breaking in actual fact because this is going to be a fairly big opportunity.

This is an opportunity for them to be able to look at training the nurses, allied health and other medical staff there and it’s also nearly $9million of investment that we’ve been able to get after lobbying for this with the previous Government, couldn’t get any traction, and the last probably six months I’ve been having very intense negotiations with the Premier, the Treasurer who is very, very important to getting any money at all, but also with Chris Picton, the Minister for Health, and so we’ve been able to get this and hopefully this will be able to give young kids in the regional areas an opportunity to be able to train and to be able to go into the medical side and nursing and also allied health for the aged care and things like that but really the other thing is they won’t have to go to Adelaide to do their training and will be able to work in very, very closely with the community in Port Pirie and surrounding district so it’ll be a lot easier.

These students will be able to be on placement at Port Pirie Hospital to be able to get first-hand knowledge and experience by being in the wards themselves.

Carbone:… this state-of-the-art clinical simulation training lab … what is that going to look like?

Geoff Brock: Obviously it’s going to have all the equipment in there, all the stuff that the nurses use, but one of the good things about this – these students will be able to have the opportunity to actually have a placement in the hospital itself so the old days, many years ago, Port Pirie had a training facility in the top of the existing hospital, called the old Allied Health building, and the nurses would be trained there and they would go through the simulation, they would go through using the equipment and things like that but this is an opportunity, these ones will be able to also have an on hand placement in the hospital, so you’ll be able to go to the wards understand what you have to do with a patient, every patient will be different, every patient will be requiring different attention and service, so things like that, but it’s also going to have this $8.6 million is also including funds for the operation of the facility, it’s not just the facility itself, it’s also for the ongoing staffing and things like that.

Carbone:… you were a big part of the State Prosperity Project economic forums that were held around the Spencer Gulf cities … looking at transforming the Spencer Gulf cities, particularly with a hydrogen hub, lots of investment … one point that came up was is our health system ready.

Are you hoping that this investment in Port Pirie Hospital and this new training hub will attract or retain more doctors and health care workers in the region to support that projected population growth

Geoff Brock: the opportunity for the Upper Spencer Gulf in particular in the next three to five years is absolutely astounding and I’m very, very excited about the future for the opportunities for not only people living there, the youth etcetera, but also we need to be able to train, not only in the health sector, but it’s also training in the right direction for the emerging industries and the hydrogen hub is one of those also but also the other thing is the big technical college being established at Port Augusta, that’s going to have accommodation for about 45 students, it’s not only the health but it’s also the aged care opportunities because we’ve got ever increasing aged care people, there’s a lot of people looking at the opportunity to have aged care at home, but they may get to the situation where they can’t have the aged care at home and they may have to come into a nursing facility.

We really need to start building the foundations for the opportunities that are going to be emerging in the next three to five years and the health one is one of those – training of the other relevant industries I’m talking about the resource industry, the hydrogen industry and also the ship building industry, I know that it’s one of our local firms in Port Pirie is looking at expanding into opportunities to supply facilities for the shipping construction in Adelaide we can’t just sit around and wait for that to happen, we’ve got to start building the foundations and I think this one here is one of those.

Anita Kuss was the instigator of this many, many years ago and I’ve been working with her ever since then and it’s a great result and looking forward to working not only with the Uni Hub, but also the Government going forward and also the community. I’d encourage young kids, male or female, to be able if you want to go into the medical side because at the moment we’ve got a doctor shortage, this could be part of that there, and also we’ve got the Royal Flying Doctor $21 million facility being established at Port Augusta to train opportunities in the GPs etcetera, also this is the opportunity, instead of us having to use agency nurses in Port Pirie in particular, these young kids or these mature people coming in having the training or the refresher will be able to take the place of those agency nurses which will be a lot cheaper for our medical and our health system.