New $20M hospital opens for communities in central west
A NEW $20 million hospital has officially opened in the central west, providing state of the art facilities for surrounding regional communities.
Blackall’s $20.11 million hospital opened on Friday, offering locals the first glimpse at the 21st century facility which will deliver 21st century services.
Health and Ambulance Services Minister Yvette D’Ath joined Blackall and Tambo residents and hospital staff for a sneak peek of the new facility before the commencement of service delivery on November 25.
“The 10-bed facility includes two emergency department bays and two short-stay beds, together with the associated general practice to provide co-ordinated and integrated healthcare for the community,” Ms D’Ath said.
“It also includes more flexible arrangements for overnight accommodation for the carers and families of paediatric, palliative care, mental health and other inpatients requiring additional support.
“The primary healthcare component of the building has eight consultation rooms that will support a range of clinical and GP services.”
The new facility was developed to replace the former hospital; a significant expansion of services for Blackall and Tambo residents.
The combined general practice and hospital was built by main contractor St Hilliers Pty Ltd and occupies a site adjacent to the existing hospital.
“The hospital has been designed to meet expected increases in demand to help future-proof health services for the local community,” Ms D’Ath said.
“I want to congratulate Queensland Health for working with the local community to deliver this facility and acknowledge the great work of all the doctors, nurses and allied health staff here in Blackall.”
Mrs D’Ath said the hospital works supported about 58 full time equivalent jobs during the construction period and provided opportunities for local business to participate.
“Several local businesses supplied civil, mechanical and electrical engineering, as well as trade services to support construction activities,” she said.
“There were also positive economic flow-on effects with local businesses participating indirectly in the provision of support services for the construction workforce.”
Central West Hospital and Health Service chief executive Jane Hancock said a feasibility study was progressing to determine the future use of the existing hospital complex.
“Wide-ranging community consultations on various proposals for the use of the old hospital have been completed and several potential options identified.”
A final report including recommendations for future use of the old hospital site will be developed and presented to consortium members in October 2021.
The new Blackall Hospital forms part of a $60 million-plus, three-year health infrastructure works program in the Central West which includes:
- $4.1 million Aramac Primary Health Care Centre completed in April 2018.
- $3.9 million worth of mechanical and other upgrades at Barcaldine Multipurpose Health Service, including the delivery of a new, state-of-the-art dental clinic completed in 2017.
- $2.36 million corridor and underfloor upgrading program currently under way at Barcaldine MPHS.
- $4.2 million Windorah Primary Health Centre replacement. Planning and community consultation currently under way.
- $1.42 million water treatment plant replacement program currently under way at Longreach Hospital and Barcaldine MPHS.
- $1.6 million generator and main switchboard replacement program currently under way at Longreach Hospital.
- $14.5 million Longreach Hospital upgrade and additional works. Main hospital upgrade completed in November 2018, with some additional minor works completed during 2019.
- $7.24 million Boulia Primary Health Centre replacement, including a $572,900 contribution from the Commonwealth for a Wellbeing Centre, completed in November 2019.
- $4.75 million electrical and mechanical upgrade currently under way at Longreach Hospital.