Bass Coast Health responds to holiday emergencies


Bass Coast Health (BCH) staff were bustling over Christmas as holiday-makers and locals in need of medical attention turn to the health service for aid. 

BCH operates the Urgent Care Centre (UCC) at the Phillip Island Health Hub and Emergency Department (ED) at Wonthaggi Hospital, providing care during medical emergencies, 24/7. 

BCH CEO Jan Child said the surge in demand highlighted the importance of the health service’s skilled staff and expanded facilities, as more people permanently move to the Bass Coast or enjoy holidays here. 

The ED is only a year old and features more treatment spaces, including a Fast-Track unit that enables patients with less complex conditions to be seen as soon as possible. The UCC is well equipped by contemporary standards and will be expanded by construction of the Phillip Island Community Hospital. 

“Our UCC and ED are busy places throughout the year, but their pace certainly steps up during the summer holidays when our beautiful Bass Coast and South Gippsland welcome tens of thousands of visitors to the region,” Ms Child said. 

“Our community is fortunate to have such modern medical facilities, staffed by expert clinicians who are ready to treat the various conditions that come through the door. They also help stabilise patients with more serious and complex injuries or illness for transfer and treatment at Latrobe or metropolitan hospitals. 

“Because it is busier, our local residents and visitors may experience some delay in getting seen if they have a non-urgent condition, because our staff will be helping the sickest patients first. We apologise in advance for any delay and encourage people who are waiting to let the staff know if their condition worsens.” 

The UCC in Cowes saw 524 patients between 23 December 2023 and 2 January 2024, and the ED in Wonthaggi saw 846 patients between 23 December 2023 and 2 January 2024. 

The Urgent Care Centre is at the Phillip Island Health Hub, 50 Church Street, Cowes. The Emergency Department is at Wonthaggi Hospital, 235 Graham Street, Wonthaggi. If you need immediate care, always phone 000 for an ambulance.