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Atherton Hospital Redevelopment


Atherton Hospital is a major acute and primary hub facility for the Tablelands region. It provides services to approximately 45,000 residents distributed across the southern Atherton Tablelands and areas to the west. This includes Atherton, Croydon, Georgetown, Forsayth, Herberton, Malanda, Millaa Millaa, Ravenshoe and Yungaburra.

It is a key health facility for the provision of both frontline and community health care. It offers emergency, general medical, surgical, aged care and low risk maternity services, as well as providing visiting specialist services in paediatrics, gastroenterology, psychiatry and women's health.

The hospital is over 100 years old in parts and is in need of renewal to continue providing contemporary healthcare.

About the redevelopment

In the 2016/17 State Budget, the government announced the redevelopment of the Atherton Hospital as part of the $230 million Advancing Queensland’s Health Infrastructure Program (AQHIP).

The redevelopment of Atherton Hospital will provide a new purpose-built Clinical Services Building, which includes an Emergency Department, Medical Imaging, operating theatres and inpatient ward areas. General refurbishments will take place in the existing building.

To provide the necessary space to construct the new building, the existing Atherton Primary Health Centre will be demolished to allow the construction of the new Clinical Services Building.

A new Community, Allied and Mental Health Building will be constructed on Jack Street to improve facilities for outpatients community, allied health and mental health services.

Consultation with the community and hospital staff is underway on how best to capture the historical significance and memories of the current Primary Health Centre into the new design for future generations.

Stage 1 Redevelopment

Key improvements

Design of the redevelopment is complete and the following key elements are included.

  • Improvements to the Emergency Department will provide:
    • separate ambulance access for greater patient privacy
    • improved access to the helipad
    • purpose-built triage areas.
  • A new main hospital entrance on Louise Street will provide safe patient drop off and pick up zones, with improved mobility access and directional signage.
  • Increased number of single-bed ensuite rooms offering privacy for patients.
  • Welcoming and spacious waiting areas with comfortable family friendly zones to better cater for visitors.
  • Improved facilities for Community Health, Allied Health and Mental Health.

Engagement and consultation

Consultation and engagement was held early in the design phase to capture staff, patient, consumer and community needs.

In-depth internal engagement was undertaken with Atherton Hospital staff in the form of User and Special Interest Groups during March and April 2017. These groups helped to inform the redevelopment's schematic design phase.

The project team has consulted with Emergency, Medical Imaging, Queensland Ambulance Services, Mental Health, Theatre, Endoscopy and Central Sterilising Supply Department, Maternity and Neonatal,  Medical/Surgical  Services  including  General  Inpatient Care, and Sub-Acute/Palliative Care, Ambulatory Outpatients/ Community Health/Allied Health/Chemotherapy, Building Engineering and Maintenance Services and Operational Services.

Between March 2017 and January 2018, several external events were held to engage community members about the Atherton Hospital redevelopment. Over 100 community members spoke directly with project team members about the redevelopment.  Overall, reactions to the redevelopment were positive while noting community concern about the removal of the Primary Health Centre.

Detailed Design

Below are the detailed designs for two of the new buildings to be constructed as part of the Atherton Hospital Redevelopment.

Clinical Services Building

Architect’s Impression of Clinical Services Building (view from Louise Street)

Community, Allied and Mental Health Building

New Community, Allied and Mental Health Building (view from Jack Street)

The Detailed Design phase has involved:

  • ongoing internal engagement in the form of reconvening user groups for more detailed discussions with the architects and planning team, and project champions sharing outcomes
  • more detailed information about the redevelopment becoming available, timelines for the works to be completed, and how these changes will impact staff and patients
  • ongoing community engagement, including forming a heritage group, to consider ways of recognising the historical significance of the site.

Contract Award

In late July 2019, the tender for principal contractor for the Atherton Hospital Redevelopment was awarded to the FKG Group.

The principal contractor will work together with the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service with support from the Department of Health Queensland, Peddle Thorp (principal consultants) WT partnership (quantity surveyors) and Capital Insight as project manager.

Project Timeline

  • Early 2017 - Mid 2017: Schematic design
  • Early 2018 - Late 2018: Detailed design
  • Late 2018 - Mid 2019: Construction planning and building contractor procurement
  • Mid 2019 - Mid 2022: Staged construction of new building and refurbishment
  • Late 2021 - Early 2022: New building commissioned
  • Ongoing communication and consultation with staff and community throughout the project stages.

Contact the team

For more information about the project, staff and community are encouraged to email:

Last updated: 23 August 2019