July 31, 2019
A small ceremony was held on Wednesday afternoon to mark the start of the main building construction phase of the new $73.9 million Kingaroy Hospital.
Health Minister Steven Miles joined with Darling Downs Hospital & Health Service CEO Dr Peter Gillies and Health Board chairman Mike Horan at the sod-turning ceremony.
Minister Miles said the current Kingaroy Hospital, built in 1938, had served the community well and the State Government expected the new building would serve the community well for decades to come.
“The redevelopment will deliver a brand new hospital building, two operating theatres, two birthing suites, in-patient and out-patient wards and an expanded emergency department, including an emergency short-stay unit,” the Minister said.
“The new hospital will provide more patient treatment spaces, increase the range of surgical services available and improve the hospital’s role as a hub for trauma, paediatric, obstetric and rehabilitation services.”
The new hospital will also provide oncology services via a telehealth service.
Dr Miles said the project would support about 72 full-time jobs during construction, and as many local sub-contractors as possible would be used.
It would begin treating patients in 2021.
The Minister said that since 2015, the State Government had increased funding to the Darling Downs Hospital & Health Service by more than $87 million which had delivered more than 200 extra nurses and mid-wives and more than 50 additional doctors across the region.
Darling Down Hospital and Health Board chairman Mike Horan said the construction of a new Kingaroy Hospital had been the Board’s number one priority for capital works for many years.
He singled out current Health Board member Cheryl Dalton and former member Cr Terry Fleischfresser for their “passionate advocacy” on behalf of the new hospital and the South Burnett in general.
“When we received funding from the government in 2017, we were absolutely delighted,” Mr Horan said.
“First of all, we received $8 million which enabled us to do all these civil works … all the services coming to it, and three buildings which are the back-of-house services for the new hospital.
“Then to receive the funding to commence building this hospital was absolutely amazing.”
Mr Horan said the Kingaroy Hospital was very important as the hub for the South Burnett’s hospital system: 50-60 people come through the Emergency Department every day and about 350-400 babies were born every year.
It had also taken on a role as a major education centre for health workers, especially in conjunction with Griffith University.
He said the new hospital would be “magnificent”.
The Kingaroy Hospital Auxiliary has put a call out for volunteers to help out at the canteen during the construction period.
Auxiliary president Alison Murray said the canteen hoped to be able to provide lunches for the workers on site.
All funds raised via the canteen go towards purchasing equipment for the hospital.
For more information about becoming a volunteer, phone David Morton on 0448-843-887.