Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Mike Knott BUN310519ANA12

EXCLUSIVE: Premier's $6.7m for hospital business case

BUNDABERG will know the site of its new hospital in 2020 with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announcing $6.7 million for a detailed business case.

Ms Palaszczuk said construction of a new hospital would reshape healthcare, boost jobs and bring new investment to the region.

"I've asked Building Queensland to get on with the detailed business case so we can look at exactly where, when and how the new hospital can be built,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

"The first step is identifying the site and we're working to get that done as soon as possible.”

The current Bundaberg Hospital site has space limitations, flooding issues and inefficient layouts needed 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.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said along with looking at potential greenfield sites, the detailed 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 detailed 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,” he 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.”

Mr Miles said the business case would include detailed health service modelling to establish the future health care demand, service capability and staffing requirements to support the growing and ageing population of the Wide Bay Burnett region.

"Given the once-in-a-century opportunity this development will bring, it's important we get it right,” Mr Miles said.

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board Chair Peta Jamieson said the new hospital would be beneficial from a health and economic perspecitve.

"We're now looking forward to communicating with the community on the next steps from here, including some public information sessions to allow people to learn more and have their say,” she said. This project will see a range of local and state bodies collaborating.

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