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Atherton Hospital Redevelopment


Atherton Hospital is a major acute and primary health 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.

The hospital 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 ageing hospital buildings need renewal to continue providing contemporary healthcare.

About the redevelopment

In the 2016/17 State Budget, the government announced the $70 million redevelopment of the Atherton Hospital as part of the $230 million Advancing Queensland’s Health Infrastructure Program (AQHIP).

The redevelopment of Atherton Hospital is occurring in stages. Stage 1 was a new Community, Allied and Mental Health Building on Jack Street, which opened its doors on 7 September 2020.

A new helipad has also been constructed at the hospital as part of this first stage of the redevelopment.

The second stage of the redevelopment will provide a new purpose-built four-storey Clinical Services Building will be constructed providing a new emergency department, medical imaging, inpatient, maternity and birthing service with private ensuite facilities, operating and endoscopy theatres and a sterilising unit. General refurbishments will also take place within other existing buildings. This is expected to be complete in 2022.

To provide the necessary space to construct the new Clinical Services Building, the old Atherton Primary Health Centre is being removed.

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

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

the newly constructed Community Allied and Mental Health Building opened in September 2020

The newly constructed Community Allied and Mental Health Building opened in September 2020

The new helipad greatly improves safe helicopter access for emergency retrievals.

The new helipad greatly improves safe helicopter access for emergency retrievals.

Key improvements

Key features of the redeveloped Atherton Hospital include:

  • Welcoming and spacious waiting areas with comfortable family-friendly zones to better cater for visitors
  • Increased number of single-bed ensuite rooms offering privacy for patients
  • Purpose-built triage areas in the Emergency Department
  • Separate ambulance access for greater patient privacy
  • Improved access to the helipad
  • 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

Engagement and consultation

Consultation and engagement have been ongoing to capture staff, patient, consumer and community interest in the project.

In-depth internal engagement was undertaken with Atherton Hospital staff in the form of user and special interest groups in 2017. These groups helped to inform the redevelopment's design.

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.

Several external events have been held to engage community members in the Atherton Hospital redevelopment.

Contract Award

The principal contractor for the Atherton Hospital Redevelopment is 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.

This project is one of the biggest recent construction projects in the Tablelands region and priority has been placed on having a high level of local involvement and employment.

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 2020: Construction of Stage 1 Community and Allied Health Building
  • Mid 2020 - Mid 2022: Staged construction of Stage 2 Clinical Services Building and refurbishment of existing building

Contact the team

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

Last updated: 16 October 2020