Work starts on staff housing
By LEE McIVORlmcivor@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
THE first sod of earth has been turned as Gladstone Hospital begins construction work on a new accommodation complex.
District manager Robyn Goffe said the four duplexes under construction would be used to house medical staff, in particular doctors.
"We expect the four units to be completed and ready for occupation in six months,'' Ms Goffe said.
Ms Goffe was excited at the fact they would soon be able to address the chronic shortage of accommodation for medical staff at the hospital.
"We do not have enough accommodation for our medical staff and it becomes particularly difficult to find accommodation when industry announces a new project and housing in Gladstone dries up.
"Currently we are forced to house most of our medical staff in private accommodation which impacts on our budget.
"It would be great to have this money freed up for the provision of patient services in the region.''
Gladstone Hospital has on-site accommodation for 10 single staff.
"Building these duplexes gives us more flexibility in the range of accommodation we can provide our staff,'' Ms Goffe explained.
"Many medical staff come with their partners and children, and these duplexes will allow us to accommodate them close to the hospital.
"It also means we can house a couple of singles if need be.''
The state government has committed $6.4 billion in new funding recently to upgrade its ailing health system.
Gladstone Hospital received a small slice of the funding pie with $1.5 million to upgrade its airconditioning system and to purchase five houses for medical staff.