COVID-19 has cut hospital accommodation in Canberra, leaving some families in NSW with no place to stay

Families in the NSW area who must stay in caregiver accommodation at Canberra Hospital now have limited options due to COVID-19 and service upgrades reducing the site’s capacity.

Key points:

  • Canberra Hospital caregiver housing capacity halved
  • COVID-19 restrictions impact health service capacity
  • There are calls for more rooms to be available on site

Canberra Health Services moved housing to the site to make room for construction of additional essential services, reducing the capacity from 66 rooms to 24 in the new building.

However, COVID-19-related restrictions forced the health department to further reduce its capacity – halving it to just 12 rooms.

Tony Larkings from Nethercote in south-eastern New South Wales recently had to navigate the new accommodation system while his wife underwent surgery at Canberra hospital.

He said that although services were well equipped and managed by helpful staff, he believed capacity should be increased to levels similar to the old accommodation.

“We need more housing,” said Larkings.

Five doctors standing around a patient during surgery, with medical equipment in the foreground.
Regional residents of NSW often have to travel to Canberra to receive a range of health services.(

Unsplash: Natanael Melchor


People living in the NSW area are often dependent on ACT health services and usually have to stay in accommodation on site while family or friends are in treatment.

“We have an aging population and I am one of those people.”

Available hotels

Canberra Hospital’s Executive Director of Medical Services Nicholas Coatsworth said staff always do their best to meet the needs of all patients and their families.

“Particularly for our patients and their families in South East New South Wales, the old accommodation building has been demolished to make way for the Essential Services building,” he said.

A person wearing surgical scrubs, a mask and gloves hands a pair of gloves to another person wearing scrubs without gloves.A person wearing surgical scrubs, a mask and gloves hands a pair of gloves to another person wearing scrubs without gloves.
Family members often stay in on-site accommodation while their loved ones are in treatment.(

Provided: AdobeStock


The ACT Health website says the average number of people in their on-site accommodation has been 40 to 50 people in recent years, with room prices ranging from $ 40 to $ 85 per night depending on length of stay and availability. requirements.

However, patients and caregivers who live more than 100 km from Canberra may also be eligible for housing assistance through the state’s Travel and Housing Assistance Program.

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