Canterbury celebrates 90 years with a healthy future ahead
Canterbury Hospital has marked a significant milestone – 90 years of delivering excellent health care.
“Our dedicated staff make Canterbury Hospital what it is today – a recognised and trusted health care provider for the people of Canterbury,” Kiel Harvey, the hospital’s acting general manager, said.
“The hospital and the services it has provided over the past 90 years are truly valued by the community,” he said.
The hospital serves a culturally and socially diverse community, with 67 per cent of the population speaking a language other than English at home.
Work has started on the NSW Government’s $6.5 million expansion of the hospital’s Emergency Department, which sees more than 46,000 patients every year, about 12,000 of them children.
There were more than 9100 ambulance trips to the ED in 2018-19, 82,000 outpatients, 20,000 inpatients, 7000 surgical procedures and 1592 births. More than 223,000 meals were served and more than 365,000 kilograms of laundry washed.
The hospital first opened in October 1929. It cost about £31,000 to construct and took a year to build. It accommodated 28 patients in two ward blocks and an isolation bock. In the first year, 587 patients were admitted.
Over the decades, the hospital has continued to cater for the changing health care needs of the community.
“Despite the growing demands, Canterbury Hospital continues to be a caring and compassionate hospital focused not only on the delivery of high-quality health care, but also on equity, through a commitment to providing health services to a culturally diverse community,” Mr Harvey said.
The hospital serves more than 175,000 locals in one of the fastest growing areas of Sydney, with the population forecast to more than double within two decades.
The latest data reveals there’ll be a predicted population growth rate of 53 per cent in the Canterbury Local Government Area between 2016 and 2036 mainly due to major urban development.
The population projections indicate an extra 83,000 people will living in the area by 2036, which will result in the community soaring close to 240,000 people.
The make-up of the community is predicted to change too, with the population ageing and a projected big rise in the proportion of children. There’s a predicted population growth rate of 55 per cent in children (aged between 0 and 14), of 47 per cent in those aged between 15 to 64 years old and 78 per cent in people aged 65-plus.
It’ll result in increased demand for services and a detailed analysis has been undertaken to identify the future healthcare needs of the population.
Integral to the future of Canterbury Hospital over the next five years is its redevelopment. In order for the hospital to appropriately meet the needs of the rapidly growing community, there is a need to expand services and facilities and a significant investment to upgrade infrastructure.
In particular, the hospital must allow for the establishment of improved outpatient facilities, the establishment of a new Renal Dialysis service and upgrade of community-based healthcare services.
Under a proposed masterplan, a major staged expansion and redevelopment – adjacent to the main hospital – is considered the preferred strategy as it would minimise the impact on the delivery of existing services.
The heritage-listed tower, over the hospital’s original entrance, would be retained, continuing its long-history as a prominent landmark in the District and maintaining a link to the hospital’s earliest days.