Letter reveals future of Gladstone’s Mater hospital
GLADSTONE’S Mater hospital will officially change hands at the beginning of October to CQHHS ownership, according to a letter sent to all GPs in the region.
Central Queensland Health and Hospital Service chief executive Steve Williamson sent the letter, dated August 6, last week outlining the health service’s vision for the future.
The Observer, after being provided a copy of the letter, contacted CQHHS for comment on a series of questions about the Mater and was told all queries should be directed to the Mater.
“Our vision is to operate two separate Gladstone hospitals as a single integrated hospital facility,” Mr Williamson said in the letter.
“Where sustainable and possible, CQ Health will maximise local employment.”
With the transfer of ownership of the Mater, comes work on the 21-year-old hospital.
“The transfer of ownership of the Gladstone Mater facility to Queensland Health is scheduled to take place at the beginning of October 2020 and will trigger some immediate essential works on the 21-year-old structure,” Mr Williamson said in the letter.
“This work will take six to 10 weeks and is essential.
“While this work is being completed there will be unavoidable disruption at the current Mater Hospital, and we will work with current private patients and services at the Mater on options for them in this environment.
“When the work is completed, we will begin a planned and progressive introduction, relocation and where sustainable, an enhancement of services.”
Negotiations are underway about private patients and the services available.
“CQ Health is beginning negotiations with private specialists about the potential for ongoing delivery of private services from the Gladstone Hospital campus,” Mr Williamson said in the letter.
“These negotiations may take some time and until they are finalised, and the building work is completed, private specialists may require alternative arrangements to see private patients and deliver their private service.”
Public Health services will not be impacted, Mr Williamson wrote to the GPs.
“While this work is going on, it is business as usual for the delivery of public health services,” he said.
“The new $42 million Emergency Department was opened for business on Wednesday, 5 August, and this is a significant development to increase the capacity of Gladstone Hospital.”
This acquisition of the Mater Hospital is just the beginning of the transformation of health services for Gladstone.
“They will support the streamlining of service delivery based on the new strengths of an integrated campus such as larger operating theatres and improved maternity suites,” Mr Williamson said.
“Then, in 2022/23, we will begin expanding teaching and training through the introduction of our regional medial program.
“The program and the infrastructure required to deliver it, are further significant steps in our vision for Gladstone Hospital.”
Gladstone Mater has been contacted for further comment.