Government to purchase Mater Hospital
The Queensland Government has confirmed it will purchase Gladstone's Mater Hospital.
Health Minister Steven Miles was in the city this morning to make the announcement with the state's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young and Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher.
Mr Miles said the announcement ensured the Mater would remain open to provide care for people in the region.
"That will, during a COVID-19 outbreak, allow us to have a dedicated COVID ward of 34 beds as well as a dedicated COVID intensive care unit of between 4 and 12 beds," he said.
"At the end of the pandemic we will complete a purchase of the hospital, add it to the stock of the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service, and we are working through a model which will allow private providers to continue to operate from that hospital."
Mr Butcher has been calling for the government to buy the hospital for some time.
"We are already building the new Gladstone Hospital Emergency Department, which saw a new and refurbished ED, and I'm excited about this new prospect as well," he said.
"Today's announcement means we can increase the amount of services available to Central Queensland, the number of public beds, reduce wait times and improve our patient care efficiencies."
The announcement means there is significant potential for specialist services to be expanded in the future.
The terms of the sale have not been finalised, but the funding will come from a $96 million package designed to help Central Queensland ramp up COVID-19 preparations.
More to come.