Caring for hearts

Heart health has always been a focus of care at St John of God Subiaco Hospital. Since opening our coronary care unit in 1973, we have provided the best options for heart patients in line with evolving models of care and technology.

14 Apr 2023

St John of God Subiaco Hospital coronary care unit in 1973, two doctors facing away from camera in surgery

Cardio Catheter Clinic, 2001

There were few specialist diagnostic and treatment options for patients with heart issues in the early years of the hospital. The introduction of blood pressure cuffs, electrocardiograph machines and angiograms made a significant difference in monitoring heart patients and responding to their specific needs.

When the hospital’s initial coronary care unit opened in 1973, it was the first unit of its kind in a private hospital in Western Australia.

Staffed by four nurses at all times, the unit featured three bedside monitoring units - the latest technical innovation in heart care. The unit was also supported by 12 specialist doctors, who volunteered on a 24-hour roster to ensure patients always had access to urgent care.

Cardiology was one of the specialist services provided in the St John of God Medical Clinic when it opened in 1978. Equipment such as the Angiomax X-ray machine provided a new approach in cardio-vascular radiology.

A new Intensive Care and Coronary Care Unit opened in 1981. The unit had 12 beds grouped in two areas, one designed primarily for coronary care and the other for intensive nursing. A major upgrade in 2008/09 doubled the bed capacity.

Services for heart patients continued to expand with the opening of an outpatient cardiology clinic in 1988 and a chest pain clinic in 1999.

Staffed by cardiologists and supported by technical experts, a Cardio and Intervention Laboratory opened in 1994.

Primarily for day patients, the service continues to operate six days a week providing a range of diagnostic and intervention procedures, including the implantation of temporary and permanent pacemakers.

In 2012, Subiaco introduced cardiothoracic surgery under the guidance of Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Associate Professor Jurgen Passage.

Our hospital is now a centre of excellence in the treatment of structural heart disease. Procedures include bypass, valve and thoracic surgery, as well as minimally invasive surgery.

All cardiothoracic procedures are undertaken in state-of-the art facilities using the latest equipment
and technologies.

More information about our cardiac care.