$22 million boost for Townsville Hospitals

Monday, 25th March 2019

$22 million boost for Townsville Hospitals

The Australian Government will invest $22 million in Townsville Hospitals in Far North Queensland to build a new 33-bed ward at the Townsville Hospital and a new Maternity and Neo-Natal unit at the Mater Hospital to improve important health services for residents and people in the surrounding region.

The investment, through the Government’s Community Health and Hospitals Program, will address the need for more beds and help people access healthcare closer to where they live.

The Townsville Hospital will receive $13m and the Mater Hospital $9m Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, congratulated Queensland Senator, Ian Macdonald, for his work to make these projects a reality.

“This funding will enable both hospitals to meet growing demand in a rapidly growing region,” Minister Hunt said. “The Townsville Hospital is one of the largest regional hospitals in Australia, caring for a regional population of more than 670,000 people.

“This $13 million investment demonstrates our commitment to improving health services throughout Australia and building a world-class health system. “Having great health facilities close to where people live and work is a priority of the Australian Government.”

Senator Macdonald said making sure residents, visitors and tourists in Far North Queensland had
access to important hospital and health care services was vital.

“In addition to addressing the need for more beds, this multimillion-dollar investment means
patients will have access to a greater range of health services and emergency department
performance will improve,” Senator Macdonald said.

Liberal National candidate for Herbert Mr Phillip Thompson said; “We have a population of around
258,000 people1 and on current population predictions we will reach 348,000 residents by 2036 so
this investment is coming at the right time, in the right place.”

Through the National Health Reform Agreement, the Australian Government provides a significant
contribution to assist states with the costs of providing public hospital services.

Since the commencement of the National Health Reform Agreement in 2012-13, Commonwealth
funding for public hospitals in Queensland has grown from $2.7 billion to $4.3 billion in 2017-18,
or by 60.9 per cent.

Under the Heads of Agreement of the next National Health Reform Agreement, Australian
Government funding for public hospitals in Queensland will increase from $21.8 billion between
2015-16 and 2019-20 to $30.1 billion between 2020-21 and 2024-25.

Funding for the Townsville Hospital will be rolled out from 2022–23 to 2024.

The Mater Hospital in Townsville will receive $9 million in funding under the Liberal National
Government’s Community Health and Hospitals Program to relocate and re-build its
Maternity and Neonatal unit.

The ‘Mater Health Services North Queensland Maternity, and Level 2 Neonatal Nursery Relocation
Rebuild Project’ will relocate the Maternity Unit and Level 2 Neonatal Nursey to the Main Acute
Campus at Pimlico and construct a contemporary, purpose-built unit.

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said that the Mater’s Maternity and Neonatal project is a “perfect fit”
for the Community Health and Hospitals Program.

“The opportunity to create a bespoke maternity and neo-natal unit in Townsville will deliver the latest
in contemporary care for women and infants to a standard not previously available,” Minister Hunt

“Maternity care is fundamental to good public health. A woman’s wellbeing in pregnancy and the
postnatal period is the single most influential factor on the future health of the child as well as the
health of the mother.”

Government funding will assist the transformation, and scope of care at the Mater.

“Now, money that would have been spent on maternity facilities can now be dedicated to other
hospital services, such as palliative care.

Townsville-based Senator Ian Macdonald said that the $9 million grant will add to the Federal
Government’s already unparalleled record of improving health outcomes in the region.

“The standard of health care across the North has been consistently enhanced by the Coalition
Government, and this project is no exception” said Senator Macdonald.

“This funding will ensure that the Mater continues to deliver the highest standards of maternity care
to patients not just in Townsville, but also in its wider catchment that includes Ingham, the Burdekin
and Charters Towers.

Liberal National candidate for Herbert Mr Phillip Thompson has welcomed the announcement as a
further demonstration of the Morrison Government’s commitment to restoring and developing
services following the Townsville Floods.

“This crucial project means better health outcomes for Townsville, more jobs for Townsville, and
more money being injected into the local economy,” said Mr Thompson.

Mr Thompson also acknowledged the breadth of local collaboration that developed the project.

“Obstetricians, Paediatricians, Anaesthetist and Intensivists, and the JCU Nursing Faculty were all
consulted in building the scope of this essential project,” Mr Thompson said.

It is anticipated the new facility could be completed within 18 months.

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