Growth and Innovation

Healthscope unveils $16 million expansion for Darwin Private Hospital

Healthscope Limited (Healthscope) has announced it will invest approximately $16 million in building a state-of-the-art Mental Health and Alcohol and other Drugs (AOD) unit at Darwin Private Hospital.

The 18 bed inpatient unit will be the first private Mental Health and AOD unit in the Northern Territory, with the closest private facility currently in Cairns.

Psychiatrist consultant, Dr Carolyn Little, said the new unit at will provide “much-needed timely access to private inpatient treatment, allowing Territorians to access the level of private psychiatric therapy options that are available in all other states and territories of Australia”.

“This new service will provide increased access to psychiatric services for many people who are currently unable to access the mental health treatment they require. The potential impact on our community of reducing the intensity and duration of psychiatric symptoms in these individuals, along with the flow on effect to the rest of society, is considerable,” Dr Little said.

“Patients seeking private psychiatric inpatient treatment will no longer have to travel interstate with the associated costs and additional psychological stress associated with dislocation from their regular support networks and service providers.”

Currently, the number of dedicated mental health beds in Darwin is more than three times less than cities of comparable size such as Cairns and Hobart.

Darwin Private Hospital General Manager Jo Seiler said the investment was the latest in Healthscope’s ongoing commitment in providing exceptional patient care and quality clinical outcomes to Darwin residents and Territorians.

Dr Seiler said the new Mental Health and AOD unit would have the capacity to treat more than 5,000 patients in its first year of operation, providing a much needed service to the community.

“Currently there are many patients who are transferred interstate for treatment, travelling long distances,” Dr Seiler said.

“This will be Darwin’s and the Northern Territory’s first private Mental Health and AOD unit and it will be designed to accommodate further expansion. We envisage that in time, the facility could grow to a 60 bed inpatient unit – the biggest of its kind in the Territory.

“We are committed to providing Darwin residents and Territorians with the highest quality of patient care, and we are delighted to provide the local community with this important service.”

Healthscope is a leading provider of mental health services in Australia, with more than 550 dedicated mental health beds across the country.

The Mental Health and AOD will be in addition to Darwin Private Hospital’s 104 beds and seven operating theatres.

The hospital currently provides Darwin residents and Territorians with a range of services including obstetrics and special care nursery, a sleep study unit, medical rehabilitation, and key specialties such as orthopedics, cardiology, gynaecology, general surgery, plastics and urology.