The air-conditioning at the soon-to-be opened Sunshine Coast University Hospital failed this week.
The air-conditioning at the soon-to-be opened Sunshine Coast University Hospital failed this week.

Hospital air-con breakdown destroys drugs worth $30K

THE heatwave experienced on the Sunshine Coast this week contributed to an air-conditioning fail at the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital that led to $30,000 worth of drugs being destroyed.

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service CEO Kevin Hegarty said air-conditioning systems at the hospital, which is due to take its first patients in April, were being continually tested, and it was a complex job.

"The sheer size and complexity of the hospital - a surface area equal to around 100 football fields - means it takes time to regulate the temperature balance of the facility," he said.

"Technicians are continually testing and improving the ventilation until it is satisfactory.

"We are undertaking commissioning to ensure the hospital is safe and ready for patients when it opens."

A supply of medicine with a long shelf life had been installed in an effort to save staff time doing other things, he said, but had to be removed after the area they were stored in was found to be too warm.

"Temperature variance in certain parts of the hospital during this testing period has impacted some initial medicine stocks, which have since been removed from the facility, and will be replaced before the hospital opens," he said.

There would be no cost to the taxpayer from this loss, Mr Hegarty said, as the incident would be covered by insurance.

"Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service staff is working with Exemplar Health to ensure the air temperature balancing is completed efficiently, ensuring the Sunshine Coast University Hospital's commitment to patient safety and quality of care," he said.


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