$6.7 million pledged for new hospital
BUNDABERG'S new hospital is a step closer to reality, after $6.7 million from the state budget was allocated for a detailed business case by Building Queensland to determine "where, when and how” it can be built.
"Bundaberg deserves a new hospital,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
The current Bundaberg Hospital site has space limitations, flooding issues and inefficient layouts hampering efforts to deliver contemporary health services in the long term.
Ms Palaszczuk said a significant portion of the $6.7 million would go towards design costs for the preferred option.
"The business case will deliver a plan for the biggest development in Bundaberg in decades,” she said.
Health Minister Steven Miles said as well as looking at potential greenfield sites, the business case would consider options to stage the construction so some services could be brought online before the entire project was completed.
This would also allow the existing hospital to be progressively decommissioned or even re-purposed for low acuity or community-based services.
"The business case will consider the size and scope of clinical services provided at the hospital, road and public transport infrastructure required, car-parking options, as well as opportunities to facilitate associated health businesses locating nearby,” Mr Miles said.
"Early analysis suggests a new hospital would also lead to the creation of up to 800 new health-related jobs, and more than 1000 construction-related jobs during the project.”
Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board Chair Peta Jamieson said a new hospital was "crucial to the future of the Bundaberg and Wide Bay regions, from both a health and economic perspective”.
As well as consulting closely with the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service and capital and planning experts from the Department of Health, Building Queensland will consult a range of local community partners, including Bundaberg Regional Council.