THE new St George Hospital emergency department in Gray Street, Kogarah, opened for business at 8am yesterday.
And it did not take long to get into full swing.
Director of operations Cath Whitehurst said 19 patients were treated in the first two hours, including seven who arrived by ambulance.
The first adult to receive treatment was Adithep Phaktham from Kogarah who had some concerns following a car accident.
Ms Whitehurst said that the old emergency department on Kensington Street stopped accepting patients at the same time the new department opened, although three patients were still being treated in the old emergency ward and were to be transferred to wards later.
"Transitioning to the new emergency department ran smoothly with emergency department and support staff executing a thorough operational plan for the move," Ms Whitehurst said.
"The new emergency department will allow for future capacity to manage the growing needs of the population."
The $39 million project includes five resuscitation bays; an acute hall with 34 treatment spaces; two designated fast-track zones, one for adults and one for children; an emergency medical unit; relocation of the Psychiatric Emergency Care Centre (PECC); satellite imaging; and an eight-space off-street ambulance drop-off zone.
There is potential for more storeys to be added in future developments.
Ms Whitehurst reminded people of the recently launched "Save our emergency department for real emergencies" campaign (Leader, October 7), asking people to get the right care, in the right place, at the right time.
NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner will open the department officially today, October 16.