Medibank in new partnership to create orthopaedic surgical centre

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Medibank has combined with leading surgeons to support university-owned teaching hospital MQ Health in the creation of a world-class orthopaedic surgical centre in Sydney.

The centre will be located on a dedicated floor of Macquarie University Hospital. It will have four orthopaedic operating theatres and 29 beds supporting a short-stay surgical model.

Macquarie University Hospital CEO, Associate Professor Walter Kmet, said, “This is an exciting partnership for our hospital as we continue to innovate in care, quality and safety for our patients.

“The short-stay model combines pre-assessment and pre-habilitation to support a patient’s rapid recovery and help them return home sooner. Both the hospital and treating specialist decide if the model is appropriate for each patient, with decisions around their care, monitoring and rehabilitation to be made by our clinical team.

“As the number of joint replacements continues to increase in line with the ageing population, increasing access to short stay is a great development for our treating specialists and their patients,” he said.

A group of orthopaedic surgeons and Medibank will invest $29.6 million to support the establishment of the centre through a joint venture. Each will contribute $14.8 million to fund the fit-out and equipment. MQ Health is contributing the floor space and the centre will operate as an integrated part of the hospital.

The surgical centre will be accessible to all patients regardless of their health fund or if they are self-funded.

Medibank's CEO of Health Services, Dr Andrew Wilson, said the centre will expand Medibank’s no gap program, which provides customers with choice and value around their healthcare.

“Our no gap program gives our customers choice in how their treatment is delivered and can halve the number of days they need to spend in hospital. Instead, they have the option to rehabilitate in the comfort of their own home with full support from nurses, allied health practitioners and personal carers as required,” Dr Wilson said.

“It’s also designed to eliminate out-of-pocket medical costs commonly associated with a hip or knee replacement. For minor complexity procedures, these savings have averaged $1,200, although they can be as high as $4,700. This can make a real difference to household budgets at a time when the cost of living is increasing,” he said.

MQ Health Discipline Head of Orthopaedics Professor Munjed Al Muderis said the centre will provide a range of benefits.

“This world-class centre will help us meet growing demand for this model of care and provide opportunities to partner with the university on research and teaching,” said Professor Al Muderis.

The centre is expected to open in late 2023.