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Robotics paving the way for the future of NQ surgeries

Mater Private Hospital Townville’s strategic investment in robotic technology is revolutionising the work of its surgeons and delivering world-leading treatment for patients across Northern Australia. 

In the last 18 months, the hospital has been equipped with three state-of-the-art robotic surgical systems which have so far assisted in more than 700 separate procedures. 

Robotic systems enable trained specialists to perform more accurate, more complex and less invasive surgeries – ensuring better health outcomes and faster recoveries for patients.  

Mater Private Hospital Townsville is now Northern Australia’s leading centre for robotic surgery and its partnership with Townsville University Hospital ensures that the entire community can benefit. 

Mater Private Hospital Townsville Interim Executive Officer Stephanie Barwick said robotic-assisted surgery had many advantages for patients. 

Robotic systems benefit patients in a number of ways, including improved clinical outcomes, less invasive procedures, reduced pain, less blood loss, shorter stays in hospital and faster recoveries.
Stephanie Barwick, Interim Executive Officer

“And because this technology is now available in Townsville, local patients no longer have to fly to Brisbane to receive this type of care. They can recover here with their loved ones instead of being away from their families in private accommodation. 

“Our suite of robots also make Central and North Queensland more appealing to young clinicians, as they have the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art technology and access training with experienced surgeons in relevant fields.” 

Mater’s da Vinci, Stryker Mako and Zimmer Biomet Rosa surgical robots were partially funded by Mater Foundation – Mater's iconic philanthropic institution.   

“Our surgical robots assist in a range of specialties, including gynaecology, obstetrics, urology and general surgery, as well as joint and knee replacements,” Ms Barwick said. 

“It’s exciting for all of our clinicians, and our colleagues at TUH, to have access to the very latest surgical technology.” 

Mater surgeon and Townsville University Hospital’s Director of Urogynaecology Professor Ajay Rane said Townsville’s robotic health partnership was an important advance in the region’s healthcare. 

“These robots represent a major development in surgery, but it’s important to note that their role is only to assist and support surgeons – the specialist is always in control and uses the system as a tool,” Prof Rane said. 

"The partnership between Mater and Townsville University Hospital allows surgeons to continue to improve the health of our community because we are now able to operate within much smaller incisions and using very precise movements – and smaller incisions mean faster recovery times. 

“We have seen fantastic results to date, not only from the da Vinci surgical robot, but also with the other specialty robots, the Stryker Mako and Zimmer Biomet Rosa, ensuring that both public and private patients have access to innovative healthcare of the highest quality.” 

One of the Mater Private Hospital Townsville’s first surgical robot patients, Terrena Pearn, said it was ‘unbelievable’ she was able to go for a walk just a few days after her major surgery. 

“Even the next morning when I woke up in hospital, I was sitting up and had brekky in my chair and just didn’t feel anything remotely like the discomfort I was expecting,” Ms Pearn said. 

For more information on Mater Private Hospital Townsville’s surgical robots or suite of services, visit To find out more about the future of healthcare in Northern Australia, book your tickets to Future Townsville 2040 by visiting 

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