$42m hospital upgrade more than 'cosmetic'
THE $42 million Emergency Department project is the most exciting development - and most significant investment - at Gladstone Hospital for many years, if not ever.
But what's exactly in it for Gladstone?
Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service and The Observer have broken it down for you.
The first phase of the project was recently completed, with the opening of the new Park St carpark accommodating 100 spaces.
Tenders for the main contractor will be called next month and are expected to be awarded in December, with the upgrade expected to be completed in 2020.
CQHHS executive director for Gladstone and Banana Joanne Glover said benefits for the Gladstone community would be profound, including more than double the size and contemporary fit-for-purpose emergency facilities that meet modern standards.
"The new ED will have four resuscitation bays (including an isolation room), a procedure room, 10 acute treatment spaces (including an isolation room), five fast-track spaces with two consultation rooms, four pediatric-specific treatment spaces, two mental health assessment rooms and eight short-stay bays (including an isolation room)," she said.
"It will also have four ambulance bays, two family interview rooms, two rapid assessment bays, office space, security office and waiting area, which incorporates a separate pediatric wait area.
"There will also be a new imaging department with a general X-ray, CT scanning procedure room and two ultrasound rooms."
Ms Glover said the upgrade would position Gladstone Hospital for the future.
"We will be able to boast the best ED in regional Queensland, because it will be built for today and will cater for demand well into the future," she said.
"There will be a new main entrance for the hospital but this project is far more than a cosmetic facelift."
Ms Glover said future projects included an intensive care unit and "to expand inpatient bed capacity, operating theatre capacity, procedural and diagnostic capacity and all the components needed to support these services".
"It is our aim to provide as much care as close to home for our patients as possible," she said.
Emergency Department features
Current ED: Two resuscitation bays, six acute treatment spaces, two observation areas, five fast-track spaces
New ED: Four resuscitation bays, 10 acute treatment spaces, eight short-stay spaces, five fast-track spaces, two consultation rooms, one procedure room, four pediatric treatment spaces, two mental health assessment rooms, four ambulance bays, two family interview rooms, two rapid assessment bays, two ultrasound rooms, X-ray, CT scanner.