The expansion of Sunshine Hospital’s emergency department took a giant step forward last week.

A new temporary triage and ambulance and emergency services bay were opened to cater for patients while work continues.

Entry to the emergency department is now via Majorca Street instead of Furlong Road.

The short-term public carpark has also moved and can now be accessed via Majorca Street, rather than Furlong Road.

A new internal pathway connects the emergency department with the main reception. Signs have been erected to help direct foot traffic.

The $29.6 million emergency department expansion project is due to be completed by mid-2021.

When complete, it will include an extra 31 treatment spaces and a separate area for children, which is expected to see 19,700 patients each year.

The number of available emergency treatment spaces at the hospital will more than double from 55 to 120, meaning an additional 59,000 emergency patients will be able to be treated each year.

The upgrades will also bolster the hospital’s mental health services with a new mental health and drug and alcohol centre to be established.

The $5.3 million centre will create an additional 12 short stay beds and 12 treatment cubicles.

The emergency department redevelopment has long been sought by Western Health.

In August last year a Western Health spokesperson told

Star Weekly that the hospital’s emergency department was operating beyond its physical capacity, treating more than 250 patients a day.