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Wishlist Centre will receive $12 million in government funding to provide a much-needed refuge for hospital patients and their families.

Sunshine Coast health charity Wishlist is unveiling plans to deliver a significant project expected to help ease the burden of hospital stays for patients and their families.

Wishlist Centre will include a four-level transitionary care facility directly adjacent to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

The federal government is also announcing a $12-million commitment to the project, which will begin construction in mid-2021.

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe says the centre is the culmination of years of planning and will fill a much-needed void for the region and those who travel for medical care.

“On completion, Wishlist Centre stage one accommodation will support more patients and families/carers who may not otherwise be able to afford to stay close to Sunshine Coast hospitals during their ongoing hospital treatment or before or after treatment,” she says.

“Our Gympie residents travel the greatest distance to access Sunshine Coast hospitals and have the highest chronic disease levels.”

Ms Rowe says more than 74 per cent of hospital patient referrals for the existing Reed House, near Nambour Hospital, and Wishlist House, near SCUH, live in the Gympie region.

“These patients have limited access to local health services and are experiencing financial distress or are often too sick to travel after treatment.”

One couple who know just how important transitionary care accommodation like this can be is Brisbane’s couple Kyla and Jesse Winika.

Ms Winika had complications during her pregnancy while celebrating their first wedding anniversary on the Sunshine Coast.

“I went into premature labour with baby Amaya, and because we live in Redcliffe, we were faced with having our baby at SCUH and being 75 kilometres away from home and our families.

“Wishlist House allowed us to stay close to SCUH, for our families to provide support and was a comfortable space for me to recover in after the birth.

“We are very supportive of Wishlist Centre, particularly because of the proximity to SCUH.

“It will allow more patients and their families, like us, the ease in travelling back and forth from the hospital.”

Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace says the facility is a big win for the Sunshine Coast and surrounding areas.

“Wishlist Centre will lighten the load financially and emotionally for patients receiving ongoing lengthy treatment and provide services that support their families.”

In addition to the 20-room transitionary care accommodation and support services, there will be opportunities for patients, families, health professionals and the local community to assist with health research, hands-on clinical training and social enterprise.

Ms Rowe says the facility, due to open in late 2022, will be supported by not-for-profit, the public and private sectors.

“We are currently seeking expressions of interest from like-minded commercial partners for our ground floor tenancies, specifically in the medical, allied health and specialist services categories.”

Visit: wishlistcentre.org.au.

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