First sod turned at $16 million expansion for Darwin Private Hospital

Construction has today begun on a new a state-of-the-art Mental Health unit, worth approximately $16 million, at Darwin Private Hospital.

In a ceremony today at the Darwin Private site, attended by The Hon Natasha Fyles, Northern Territory Minister for Health, the first sod was turned to kick off the expansion into much needed mental health services.

Once completed, The Darwin Clinic facility will be the first of its kind in the Territory, meaning patients will no longer have to travel interstate to access private mental health services. Currently Territorians must travel to Cairns to access to the closest private Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) unit.

Minister Fyles congratulated Healthscope on the project, saying the new 18 bed inpatient and outpatient unit will enable Territorians to access the same level of options that are available across Australia.

“The new Mental Health unit will mean people who choose to receive private treatment can do so locally, without having to travel interstate, meaning their local support networks are accessible to help them with their recovery journey.

Darwin Private General Manager, Dr Jo Seiler, said the new facility was expected to open in November 2020, and would have the capacity to treat more than 5,000 patients in its first year of operation.

“We are delighted to be able to provide a much needed service to the community,” Dr Seiler said.

“Currently patients have to travel long distances and interstate, to access private mental health services. We are committed to ensuring Darwin residents and the broader Northern Territory community have access to quality services, similar to those found in other states.”

Dr Seiler said the AOD unit had been designed for further expansion and to meet future demand for private mental health services.

Healthscope’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Victoria Atkinson, said “Mental health is a growing concern for all Australians, and Healthscope, through its national mental health strategy, is playing a leading role in the provision of the specialist services and coordinated care required. We are so pleased to be able to coordinate with public and community mental health services in the Northern Territory, to provide high quality mental health care for all Territorians.”

Healthscope is a leading provider of mental health services in Australia, with more than 600 dedicated mental health beds and over 65,000 patient admissions in FY19 and more to come with this new development.

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, cardiac cath lab, and key specialties such as orthopaedics, gynaecology, general surgery, plastics and urology.

Darwin Private Hospital media contact:

Kerrilee Uptin (KC) 0411 447 441