Premier Campbell Newman visited the Sunshine Coast today to turn the first sod on Australia’s first major new, not replacement, public hospital for more than 20 years.
Mr Newman said the long-awaited hospital would revolutionise the delivery of public health care services to the Sunshine Coast.
“When the hospital opens in 2016, it will provide a range of vital health care services that are currently unavailable locally,” Mr Newman said.
“This will mean that approximately 10,000 local residents each year will no longer have to travel to Brisbane to receive important medical services.”
Mr Newman said it was a great pleasure to turn the first sod on the long-awaited hospital with Brian Ginn who was the face of the 2009 community protest march against the previous Government’s decision to delay SCUH.
“The Sunshine Coast University Hospital was talked about for more than 10 years under the previous Labor Government,” Mr Newman said.
“My team and I are getting on with delivering this important project without delays and without excuses.”
Mr Newman said when the SCUH opens in 2016 it will provide 450 beds, growing to 738 beds by 2021 and can be expanded to 900 beds beyond 2021 if needed.
“Services will include a new comprehensive cancer centre, a range of complex surgical services including neurosurgery, cardiothoracic surgery, maxillofacial surgery and specialised trauma services,” he said.
The project is Queensland’s first public hospital Public Private Partnership. Queensland Health has entered into a contract with Exemplar Health (a consortium including Lend Lease, Spotless Group, Capella Capital and Siemens) to design, construct, finance and maintain the hospital buildings for 25 years once the hospital opens.
Construction will officially commence in October. Exemplar Health estimates about 1,800-2,000 jobs will be created during the peak of construction activity.
SCUH will provide employment for more than 3,500 staff when it opens in 2016 and about 6,000 staff will be required by 2021. This will include doctors, nurses and allied health professionals, administrative and operational staff.