Bigger hospital will transform the delivery of healthcare in the Bass Coast


The Wonthaggi Hospital Expansion (WHE) has been designed to service the healthcare needs of the Bass Coast now and for years to come.

The monumental, $115m expanded hospital is the first of three stages to expand and upgrade the current Wonthaggi Hospital facilities, with Stage 1 featuring a built-for-purpose Emergency Department, three operating theatres and a new surgical ward.

“The opening of the WHE is a huge plus for the Wonthaggi and broader community of Bass Coast and South Gippsland,” Bass Coast Health (BCH) CEO Jan Child said.

“Our region has been growing and will continue to grow. BCH has been growing its services to deliver on its role as a sub-regional health service, with the key aim to care for more people closer to home.

“The WHE is built-for-purpose, is equipped with the latest technology and is impressive. It’s a spectacular facility for our community.

“The WHE will not only entice more healthcare workers to join our excellent team at Bass Coast Health, but will also give more people the confidence to relocate to our region, knowing they have a contemporary health service to care for them when they need it.”

General entry to all services within the WHE and existing Wonthaggi Hospital will soon be via a new main reception on the ground level of the WHE. There are links and lifts to take people to the old hospital, including Pathology.

The Emergency Department (ED) is located on the ground level and includes general cubicles, resuscitation cubicles, a behavioural assessment room (for people who may be agitated, have a mental illness or are affected by alcohol or similar), a plaster room and a procedure room.

Longer-term the fast-track area will be opened up to enable patients with less complex conditions to be seen in a timelier fashion. In the short term, these patients will be seen in the expanded ED precinct.

The nurses’ station in ED is centrally located to enable nurses to easily monitor patients and there is a negative pressure room for the treatment of COVID and other respiratory conditions. This room is designed to keep infectious particles within the room, for the safety of other patients and staff.

Our larger patients will be catered for by a designated bariatric cubicle with a gantry for lifting people weighing 200kg. There are four high acuity cubicles for very ill patients.

A purpose-built ambulance bay at the rear of the hospital will have capacity for five ambulances, with direct access from Baillieu Street West.

Children will be treated in a designated paediatric cubicle and there will be 2 isolation cubicles for those with infectious conditions, such as COVID. The ED is designed so that if COVID or similar infectious diseases are present, staff can isolate that area by changing air conditioning flows and closing doors with the touch of a button.

The ED complex has a Short Stay Unit where patients can stay for longer periods when monitoring is required.

Surgical services dominate level one. There are three large operating theatres, including a fully interactive operating theatre with digital audio-visual equipment. This live-streaming capacity will enable surgery (primarily orthopaedic) being undertaken at Wonthaggi to be recorded and beamed to metropolitan hospitals for advice and teaching purposes. There is also a smaller theatre for Procedures and Endoscopies.

The theatres are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and technology, enabling the completion of a range of theatre specialities including general, gynaecology, orthopaedic, ophthalmology, endoscopy, urology and breast surgery, with expansion of surgery either well underway (orthopaedics) or on the horizon (paediatric).

There are many recovery bays and a large sterilising department, where our surgical equipment will be cleaned and sterilised.

The peri-operative department has dedicated education space, spacious change-rooms and an abundance of natural light.

The new Acute Ward on the top level has so many features:

  • 3 high acuity beds for close observation
  • A bariatric room
  • An isolation room
  • Paediatric beds for the future once Paediatric inpatient care commences (2023)
  • 16 single rooms and 16 double rooms.

Patients and their families will also have a lounge area with views across Wonthaggi.