Minister for Health Steven Miles with chair of the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service Peta Jamieson.
Minister for Health Steven Miles with chair of the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service Peta Jamieson.

Progress on new hospital as architect revealed

THE prospects of a new hospital is off to a healthy start this year with an architecture company joining the detailed business case team.

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board chair Peta Jamieson said Cox Architecture would work in partnership with Building Queensland, Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service and the Department of Health to complete the more technical aspects of the detailed business case.

The company was appointed to start work on January 7 and has previously undertaken detailed business cases in the health sector for the Caboolture Hospital Redevelopment and Perth's Children's Hospital as well as some significant redevelopments at Townsville Hospital.

Ms Jamieson said they team also anticipates identifying the site for the new hospital early this year, after the expression of interest and subsequent evaluation process late last year.

In October it was announced that 20 private sites and available state-owned land would be considered for the site of a new Bundaberg Hospital.

"The consultants will also develop a master plan for the new site, once selected - including the appropriate staging of construction - and complete detailed concept designs for the new facility," she said.

"These are important developments as we continue to finalise a detailed business case for a new hospital for Bundaberg that will deliver more specialist services closer to home.

"We also remain committed to ongoing engagement with our community to ensure they're kept informed of the project's progress."

"This is an exciting day for Bundaberg and the Wide Bay region as we're another step closer to delivering a brand-new hospital which will deliver world class healthcare people expect and deserve," Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said.

"This new hospital is going to serve the region for at least the next 50 years when it's finished and in the meantime it's going to be a major infrastructure project, delivering construction jobs and boosting the local economy.

"The Palaszczuk government has a bold vision for Bundaberg's new hospital."

The criteria for determining the potential site suitability includes: being located within a radius of about 17km from the city centre; the available land being 15-20ha; good accessibility; and being at or above Q500 flood levels.

WBHHS acting chief executive Debbie Carroll said at a local level, a great deal of other progress continued to be made on the redevelopment project that would complement the work of the consultants.

This included the engagement of dedicated project support roles to assist the existing infrastructure team within the health service.

"Some of the recent work undertaken by WBHHS includes consultation workshops with senior clinicians and staff, as well as other specialists and stakeholders, on concept designs and models of care for our many and varied services," Ms Carroll said.

"There's no doubt 2020 will be a defining year for this project - and each milestone we pass takes us one step closer to a new hospital for Bundaberg and the broader Wide Bay region coming to fruition."