New Australian Defence Force Ward officially opened at St Luke's Hospital

Published on Mr Pup Elliott (author), ABIS Tom Gibson (photographer)

Location(s): Potts Point, Sydney

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AO, CSC, RAN, speaks to medical staff and visitors of Saint Lukes Hospital at the grand opening of the new Australian Defence Force Ward. (photo: ABIS Tom Gibson)
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AO, CSC, RAN, speaks to medical staff and visitors of Saint Lukes Hospital at the grand opening of the new Australian Defence Force Ward.

A new in-patient facility for Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel in Sydney has been opened at St Luke’s Hospital in Potts Point.  The opening was attended by Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, RAN, Commander Joint Health,  Rear Admiral Robyn Walker, AM, RAN  and  Director General Garrison Health Services, Brigadier Georgeina Whelan AM, CSC.

The facility, which includes 12 dedicated single-bed rooms, began providing in-patient services to ADF members located in the central Sydney area last month.

With the closure of the ADF Ward earlier in March this year, Joint Health had been investigating options for a contract to support ADF personnel in a new location.  Originally known as the Navy Ward, over five and a half thousand ADF members had been admitted for health care since it opened on 31st March 2008. 

The Navy Ward was established when Navy’s former in-patient facility, Balmoral Naval Hospital, was closed for refurbishment. Following a tender process, St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney was selected as the preferred site. This was not without an historic precedent, with St Vincent’s Hospital having opened a Naval Ward in 1875 for members of the Royal Navy and visiting German and French Fleets. 

With the transition of Garrison Health Services delivery to Joint Health Command in January 2012, the Ward became known as the ADF Ward.

Chief of Navy, VADM Griggs said “St Luke’s proximity to Fleet Base East is a great outcome for Royal Australian Navy people in central Sydney.”

Director General Garrison Health Services, Brigadier Georgeina Whelan said St Luke’s Hospital would provide clinical services at the new site drawing on experienced St Luke’s staff, complemented by a Defence Health Liaison Cell to ensure military supervision of Defence patients.

“The new ward provides our central Sydney-based men and women with ready access to local in-patient services,” she said. 

“It’s particularly important for our single personnel who live in service accommodation and who are away from their families and next of kin. The location enables them to be close to their friends, colleagues and chain of command. 

“Further, it’s a fantastic opportunity for our health services professionals to draw on the clinical opportunities available at the St Luke’s campus.”

The services have been procured under the ADF Health Services Contract through an agreement with Medibank Health Solutions and include access for ADF health staff to professional development opportunities at the St Luke’s campus.

Staff members of Saint Luke's Hospital welcome Royal Australian Navy member.

Staff members of Saint Luke's Hospital welcome Royal Australian Navy member.

More imagery is available at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20132448