Cairns South Health Facility
Early in 2011, Cairns Hospital, located near the coast, was evacuated as a precautionary safety measure in response to the approach of severe Cyclone Yasi. On February 3, Yasi crossed the coast as a category five cyclone near Mission Beach with wind gusts exceeding 280kph.
Following the event, the then Premier and Minister for Reconstruction ordered a health review. The outcome of this review was a commitment by the Government that an alternative site for the delivery of critical and emergency care during disaster events would be provided for the region.
The Walker Road, Edmonton site was selected because of its strategic location including being outside of the one-in-100-year flood zone; good access to the Bruce Highway; opposite a designated cyclone shelter in the Police Citizens Youth Club Edmonton; and being central to the rapidly growing population of the southern Cairns area.
Dual purpose building
The Cairns South Health Facility is a unique health facility in Australia because of its dual-purpose capability.
The building will be able to withstand and function in a category five cyclone to provide interim emergency care if the Cairns Hospital Emergency Department is unable to function, as was the case when the hospital was evacuated in 2011. It also has an on-site helipad to enable the evacuation of any casualties.
Outside these times, the day to day use of the facility includes renal dialysis six days a week and community health services to southern Cairns in conjunction with the Edmonton Community Health Centre.
Construction commenced in late 2019 and was completed in September 2020. The contract to build the Cairns South Health Facility was awarded to Hansen Yuncken in September 2019.
On 29 September 2020, the Cairns South Health Facility was officially opened by Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt and Chair of Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, Clive Skarott.
The facility is expected to open in November 2020 following staff training and testing on how to manage the transition over from community health centre to emergency medical facility.
For more information please contact the health service via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.