Plastic surgery service at Rockingham Hospital.

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph
Health Minister Roger Cook and South Metropolitan Health Service head of plastic surgery professor Colin Song visit Suzette Treasure - one of Rockingham General Hospitals first plastic surgery patients.
Camera IconHealth Minister Roger Cook and South Metropolitan Health Service head of plastic surgery professor Colin Song visit Suzette Treasure - one of Rockingham General Hospitals first plastic surgery patients. Credit: Chloe Fraser

A new plastic surgery service at the Rockingham General Hospital is expected to improve long delays and wait lists for elective and plastic surgery patients in WA.

Rockingham and Kwinana residents can now access plastic surgery services closer to home, with Rockingham General Hospital offering low to medium-complexity surgery, including skin cancer surgery, to patients in the South Metropolitan Health Service catchment area as of last week.

While Fiona Stanley and Fremantle hospitals will continue to cover more complex surgeries, Rockingham General Hospital is to complete more than 500 low to medium surgeries in its first year.

Health Minister Roger Cook said demand for plastic surgery was increasing across the State. “If we can have another area where we deliver these important surgeries, then we know that we’re starting to eat into those wait lists, so it’s incredibly important,” he said.

“I’m delighted that we have a situation where locals can get this sort of surgery done locally.

“It is always beneficial for patients when they can be seen closer to home.”

South Metropolitan Health Service head of plastic surgery Professor Colin Song said about 25-30 per cent of plastic surgery patients treated at Fiona Stanley Hospital in the last four years lived in the Rockingham and Peel regions.

He said the service would help improve access to timely treatment — especially for skin cancer patients.

“For us it made a lot of sense to start a presence here,” Professor Song said.

“Although Fiona Stanley is a large hospital, it still has limited capacity and resources.

“Some of the full-day lists we have are patients who require not very complex surgery — it is quite straightforward — so we’re hoping to accommodate eight to 10, maybe even 12 (surgeries) a day, and that is an enormous help.”

A plastic surgery and wound-care specialist nurse from Fiona Stanley Hospital will work with staff at the Rockingham hospital to co-ordinate the surgeries.

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