The hospital services the patients of the Lower Northern Sydney Health District and hence more than one third of all its patients come from the four local government areas of Lane Cove, North Sydney, Willoughby, Ryde and Mosman. However It also provides services statewide as discussed below.
The population of Australia in the 2014 is approximately 23,490,000 In 2006 and an estimated 864,380 people lived within the boundaries of Northern Sydney Local Health District. The hospital provides a number of statewide services including spinal injuries, burns and hence the population served is much greater. The land sale would result in a campus that would not have the space to provide this essential service in the decades to come. It would be a public health disaster for all the citizens of NSW given the statewide services provided.
Clinical services offered at the hospital include aged and rehabilitation care, surgical services, immunology, dermatology, microbiology, palliative care, cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, critical care, emergency medicine, endocrine medicine and surgery, haematology, medical imaging, mental health care, neurology, obstetrics and gynaecology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, paediatrics, pathology, podiatry, respiratory care, renal and renal transplantation, urology and vascular and trauma medicine.
Community health services offered at the hospital include child, adolescent and family services, drug and alcohol treatment, child protection, sexual health care, carer support, breast screening, mental health services, dental health services and health promotion.
State-wide services provided by the hospital include neonatal intensive care, severe burn care and reconstructive surgery, pain management and research, spinal cord injury care, interventional neuro-radiology, cerebrovascular embolisation and the services provided by the Sydney Simulation Centre.
The hospital is also one of the state’s major trauma centres and provides local and State-wide trauma services, including a specialist burns unit and a specialist spinal unit. There is no other referral hospital in NSW that can provide spinal and burns treatment as a part of a trauma service. Similarly, it is the only Burns Center that can treat patients that require obstetrics and trauma care. In this regard, the sale of the RNS Hospital campus will affect the care of trauma patients from across the state of NSW.
The trauma service at RNSH is complemented by comprehensive intensive care and diagnostic clinical support services. Helicopter ambulance flights deliver patients to RNSH from country centres. The efficiency of the retrieval services in this state, and the services they provide to our rural communities, can not be overlooked.
The hospital is also the major tertiary referral, research and teaching hospital in NSlHD. It is affiliated with the University of Sydney (Northern Clinical School) and the University of Technology, Sydney (nursing education) and many staff hold conjoint appointments. It is responsible for training future generations of health professions. Institutions like RNS are the future of health care in Australia.