New $42 million Gladstone facility opens today
THE NEWEST and most technologically advanced piece of infrastructure in Gladstone City opens today, with the official launch of the hospital's $42 million Emergency Department.
With up to 100 people visiting the hospital's emergency department every day, Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the facility, with a new entrance from Park Street, ushered in a new era of care.
Since the doors first opened in March 1890, Mr Butcher said the emergency department was one of the most significant upgrades the 79 bed hospital had seen.
"The Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk first announced the funding for this facility at a Community Cabinet meeting in 2016," Mr Butcher said.
"The final result is fantastic.
"Not only will this mean better care for the Gladstone community, but our hardworking frontline health staff who work tirelessly will be able to continue to deliver world-class healthcare in new modern facilities."
The emergency department will initially open with 14 treatment spaces, which will be increased to 22 over the coming weeks.
To man the facilities, 32 staff including doctors, nurses, speech pathologists, physiotherapists, operational and administration staff were recruited.
When Premier Palaszczuk toured the facility with Mr Butcher last month, he promised Gladstone would get to the stage four facility, encompassing an intensive care unit, the community wanted.
"This new department will mean their care is delivered in a streamlined, contemporary and built-for-purpose facility," he said.
"We've always said at the Gladstone Hospital that we will work towards a stage four hospital.
"We've now also made an investment in the Mater Hospital purchase under Queensland Health.
"We are taking steps to get to that next stage."
A road map was being developed, Mr Butcher said, for the expansion to a stage four hospital, which would be completed before 2030.
Deputy Premier and Health and Ambulance Minister Steven Miles said the ED would open at 9am.
"Not only have we invested in a brand new ED, but we have hired additional doctors, nurses, allied health, operational and administration staff for the new unit," he said.
"A big thanks to Glenn Butcher for being a strong advocate for this project and healthcare in his community."
CQ Health Chief Executive Steve Williamson said the team at Gladstone Hospital already provided a great service for the community, but this new department would significantly increase the capacity to 22 treatment spaces, with more room available to grow to meet future demand.
"The department opens today with 14 treatment spaces and will gradually ramp up in the coming weeks," he said.
"Today we will keep the old Emergency Department (accessed through Flinders Street) running until 3pm while we transition into this wonderful new facility."
Mr Williamson paid tribute to the Gladstone Hospital staff, management and the builder for a magnificent job during the construction phase.
"From 9am today, the entry to the new ED is at the Park Street entrance of the hospital, right near the main car park."