8 May 2020
A Brisbane company has designed and built specialised ‘negative pressure’ portable hospital rooms made from shipping containers that can be delivered anywhere in Australia, and have offered to donate ten – worth a combined $1.5 million – to Australia’s health services.
The rooms, which can be operational within two hours of delivery even to remote and regional centres, are also convertible to ‘positive pressure’ which keeps out dust particles and smoke, making them suitable for bushfire affected areas.
Canstruct, which has manufactured the fully self-contained rooms for the Pacific region, says the rooms will increase hospital capacity during high volume times like COVID-19, and can provide extra intensive care and isolation facilities to Australia’s many regional areas at short notice.
Canstruct Group CEO Rory Murphy explained that while Australia thankfully hasn’t seen the amount of cases of COVID-19 experienced by many other nations, federal and state governments are warning about the likelihood of a second wave.
“We are all hoping for the best, but as we’ve seen overseas, we must be ready for the worst case scenarios, and also for other health crises in the future.
“These rooms help Australia become crisis-ready, and are so adaptable that they can be used for health, defence or humanitarian need.”
The initiative has won the support of global medical company International SOS, which supplies medical services and expertise to governments across the globe.
Medical Director of Occupational Health Dr Kalesh Seevnarain said rooms for isolating airborne infectious disease are in short supply in hospitals.
“A single room with appropriate air handling and negative ventilation is particularly important for reducing the risk of micro-organisms being spread by airborne transmission from a source patient to susceptible persons,” he explained.
“Special rooms like this are essential for controlling pathogens and making sure they stay contained to one patient’s room, rather than infecting others nearby, as happened with COVID-19 on cruise ships.”
Canstruct has rediverted their resources to manufacturing these units and in the process saved 15 full time jobs and provided work for many Australian suppliers and subcontractors.
“There is a role for companies to help during these times and we wanted to play our part,” Mr Murphy said.
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