Pacemaker implants now available at Coffs Harbour Health Campus

Pacemaker technician Leanne Emery, Member for Coffs Harbour and Shadow Minister for Tourism, Emergency Services and the North Coast Gurmesh Singh, Dr Austin May and clinical nurse educator (cardiology) Tamisha Johnson.

LIFE-SAVING pacemaker implants are now available at Coffs Harbour hospital as day surgery.

A collaboration between Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh, Coffs Harbour cardiologist Dr Austin May and the Mid North Coast Local Health District Board working together for two years has brought these pacemaker implantation services to Coffs Harbour Hospital.

Mr Singh acknowledged the hard work of the former health minister in the Coalition government, Bronnie Taylor, in securing this service for the community, and thanked the current Health Minister Ryan Park, for his ongoing support of this initiative.

“Until now patients requiring pacemaker surgery had to go to John Hunter hospital or to Sydney,” Mr Singh told News Of The Area.

“For old and frail patients, it meant coming to Coffs hospital, staying overnight, being flown to John Hunter in Newcastle, having the procedure, being flown back to Coffs hospital, staying another night and then going home.”

With the patient being in and out of hospital in a day, “the system no longer has to pay for the flights, and the patient does not require a hospital bed for two nights when the hospital is near capacity as it is,” he said.

This is the first pacemaker service offered in Mid North Coast public hospitals.

Dr May will perform the pacemaker implant procedures with the support of a specialist team including pacemaker technician Leanne Emery and pacemaker nurse Sarah Drum.

Minister Park said the new service would ease the burden on patients and their families.

“Offering this specialist treatment at Coffs Harbour Health Campus not only benefits the patients, but also their wider support networks, as they are able to be close to their families while they recover,” he said.

The specialist team will also be able to undertake pacemaker battery replacements and other minor procedures associated with the use of a pacemaker.

It is thought about 100 pacemaker implants will be undertaken annually.


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