Member for Nananago Deb Frecklington - click here
What's On In The South Burnett Today?

$62m Funding Earmarked For Hospital

Filed under Breaking News, Health, Latest News, Media Gallery

Kingaroy Hospital ... a new hospital has been the "number one priority" of the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Board for many years

‘I’m Cautiously Optimistic’

Deputy Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington said she was cautiously optimistic that Kingaroy’s much-needed hospital would now become a reality.

But she was disappointed that Labor had “left hanging” for so long a project the LNP had ready to go.

“Five years of lobbying and perseverance have paid off,” she said.

“A new hospital for the South Burnett has been my number one priority since becoming the local State Member. I would like to thank the hard working staff of the hospital who work in the current less-than-ideal conditions.

“So many people have worked extremely hard to make this a reality. I’d particularly like to thank everyone who signed petitions, filled out my surveys and shared their stories about the hospital.

“This has all made a difference.”

Mrs Frecklington said $8 million was in this Budget but pressure would have to be kept on the Labor Government to ensure that the rest of the funding was delivered.

June 13, 2017

by Anne Miller

After years of lobbying by residents, local councillors and State and Federal politicians, Kingaroy is finally getting a new hospital.

But it won’t happen overnight.

In the State Budget handed down on Tuesday afternoon by Treasurer Curtis Pitt, $8 million was allocated immediately to Kingaroy Hospital.

Darling Downs Hospital and Health Board chairman Mike Horan said another $54 million had been listed in the State Government’s Budget projections for the next three years.

“Eight million dollars is a lot of money to spend in Year 1. We have got to get cracking!” Mr Horan joked.

“It’s great news, it’s terrific news. It should be embraced by everyone.”

A new public hospital in Kingaroy has been the top priority of the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service for many years.

Mr Horan said the the first phase would include developing detailed architect’s plans and estimates, and perhaps some initial ground work.

The Darling Downs Hospital and Health Board’s business case for the project, which included some basic plans, has already been approved by the government’s Investment Review Committee.

The bulk of the hospital construction work will be done during Years 2-3 with the project to tail off and be finished in Year 4 (2020-21).

Mr Horan said the current hospital would continue treating patients as normal throughout the construction period.

The State Government’s “Regional Action Plan” Budget document for Wide Bay includes some specifications for the new hospital: 66 beds, 12 emergency department spaces, six consulting suites, two operating theatres and two birth suites.

Mr Horan said the Board would like input from local doctors and nurses about what they would like to see in the hospital before the final plans were drawn up.

The new hospital would be built on a separate site within the hospital grounds. After the stand-alone building is completed, Mr Horan said he expected parts of the old complex would be demolished while other parts might be kept for different uses.

The Budget papers note the key objectives for 2017-18 at Kingaroy Hospital include the building of a new dental training clinic and co-located community health service.

This project is already underway on the site of the old Farrhome building in Youngman Street and is being delivered in partnership with Griffith University and Queensland Rural Medical Education.

However, Mr Horan emphasised the funding for this project was not coming out of the $8 million hospital allocation.

[UPDATED with correction: An earlier version of this report suggested the construction of the Dental Clinic was included in the $8 million Budget allocation]

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