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Bundaberg Hospital announcement a big win for community's future

The Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board and Service have welcomed Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s announcement that the search would now begin for a new site for a future Bundaberg Hospital.

The announcement follows the presentation in April of WBHHS’s preliminary business case for a new or significantly refurbished hospital, due to the growth constraints and flood risks of the current site.

Board Chair Peta Jamieson said the significance of the announcement could not be understated and it was a big win for the local community.

“We welcome the Premier’s personal announcement that the Queensland Government has supported us moving to the next stage of the Bundaberg Hospital redevelopment process, including the compilation of a detailed business case and searching for a new greenfield site,” Ms Jamieson said.

“A new hospital would be the biggest development this region has seen in decades, and perhaps in its history – not just from a health perspective, but also because of the economic injection it would give to the Bundaberg and Wide Bay Burnett regions.

“A new hospital would mean we would be able to provide more specialist services close to home and save more of our community from having to travel to Brisbane for care, which makes a big difference to patients and their families because it reduces stress and the cost burden.

“A new hospital would also lead to the creation of up to 800 new health-related jobs, and potentially up to 1,750 construction-related jobs throughout the duration of the project.

“We have always said that this would be a build for at least the next 50 years, so we had to get the planning right.

“Getting to this point has taken a lot of hard work by a lot of people, and I’d like to thank Chief Executive Adrian Pennington and his team of executives and clinical leaders for their commitment to this project and their diligence in preparing a thorough and compelling case for a new hospital.”

WBHHS has also collaborated with a number of other agencies on the project, including members of Queensland Health’s capital and planning teams, Building Queensland – the Queensland Government’s infrastructure advisory body – and local community partners including Bundaberg Regional Council.

Ms Jamieson said WBHHS would continue to collaborate with Building Queensland, which would lead the detailed business case phase.

“The detailed business case will determine things such as the exact size and dimensions of the hospital and all its units, our exact workforce needs, and all the equipment and infrastructure necessary to support a facility of this size and type,” she said.

“Crucial to all of this will be the search for a new site, which will need to take into account a range of
issues such as access, parking, flood protection and the capacity for future growth and expansion.

“It will now be important for us to engage and collaborate with Bundaberg Regional Council, which will
play a crucial role in supporting and facilitating the selection and development of a new site.”

Chief Executive Adrian Pennington said while there was still a long road ahead, he welcomed the
announcement and the huge health benefits it would bring to the community.

“This has been a long time in the making, but this is a great day for the Bundaberg and Wide Bay Burnett
communities,” he said.

“Our staff have worked hard over the past few years to make WBHHS one of the best performing health
services in the state.

“The prospect of a new hospital will not only invigorate our team further, but will also mean we will be
able to expand our services – from acute care through to community, allied and mental health – and
continue to provide the highest-quality care from a modern, purpose-built facility.

“Combined with the progress that’s being made with the development of a new medical program for
Wide Bay and Central Queensland, in conjunction with CQUniversity and the University of Queensland,
this will make a huge difference to our ability to recruit and retain high-calibre specialists to clinical and
education roles.

“We’re very excited to have the opportunity to collaborate on the next phase of this vital project, and we
look forward to seeing it eventually come to fruition.”

Last updated: 26 July 2019