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More than 80 health sector and business leaders attended the launch of North Queensland’s first surgical robot, a Da Vinci XI, on 18 March.
Thanks to an historic agreement between Mater Private Hospital Townsville and Townsville University Hospital, the ground-breaking technology is set to deliver state-of-the-art medical care to public and private patients alike.
Mater Health Executive Director Daniele Doyle said it was a significant milestone for Mater and for North Queensland.
While Mater has purchased a Da Vinci Xi Surgical Robot worth $3.3 million, it would not have been achievable without the partnership between Mater Private Hospital Townsville, Townsville University Hospital, and support from the community through Mater Foundation.
“This announcement demonstrates the great things that can be achieved when we collaborate to improve the health of our community,” Danielle said.
“There is no doubt robotic technology is the future of healthcare and Mater aims to be at the forefront of these advances.”
Townsville MP and Minister for Resources Scott Stewart, who represented the Minister for Health Yvette D’Ath, said the robot signalled a revolution in medical care.
“Using a 3D camera and hand and foot controls our surgeons can manipulate the camera and instrument inside the body,” the Minister said.
“The benefit of this approach is that our surgeons can operate within a tiny incision in the body using small and precise movements. This is important because the smaller the hole we cut in someone, the quicker it heals. The benefits are quicker recovery times, better outcomes and a better patient experience."
Mater Private Hospital Townsville Executive Officer Libbie Linley said she was proud to lead a hospital where doctors and nurses had the opportunity to learn new skills to deliver enhanced services.
“Teams at both Mater and Townsville HHS have worked tirelessly to make this robot a reality and I’m incredibly thrilled to be able offer the service for the first time in this region to both public and private patients,” Libbie said.
“It is a very exciting sign of things to come for Mater Townsville,” she said.
One of the first patients to have surgery using the new robot, Terrena Pearn, said it was ‘unbelievable’ she was able to go for a walk just a few days after her major surgery.
"Even the next morning when I woke up in hospital, I was sitting up and had brekky in my chair and just didn’t feel anything remotely like the discomfort I was expecting,” she said.
Mater Surgeon, Dr Jay Iyer, said the Da Vinci XI provided regional patients with the same level of world-class medical treatment as their south-east counterparts.
Pictured above (L-R) Les Walker MP, Mater Health Executive Director Daniele Doyle, Hon Scott Stewart MP, Townsville Hospital Board Chair Tony Mooney and Mater Health Regional Executive Director (North and Central Queensland) Gerrard Wyvill.
Pictured below Ryan Tate from Device Technology explains how the surgical robot works to the Sisters of Mercy.