January 29, 2021
Darling Downs Health has responded to community concerns about stormwater leaks and the demolition process at the new $92.5 million Kingaroy Hospital.
southburnett.com.au contacted Darling Downs Health last week after readers told us water leaks had closed a ward at the hospital.
Concerns were later aired by readers on Facebook:
It nearly cost a lady her life, she had to be airlifted to Toowoomba because the necessary equipment was damaged by water leakage. The people of Kingaroy deserve better. That is an appalling situation.
I had to drive my husband to Toowoomba last Friday night for CT scan as Kingaroy Hospital has flood damage.
Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington wrote to Health Minister Yvette D’Ath about the issue, stating the new CT scanner at the hospital was out of action due to water damage,
A Darling Downs Health spokesperson confirmed on Friday an intense downpour on January 18 had led to “some water” entering the new hospital.
“Our staff prioritised patient safety throughout the event, with some patients moved within the hospital for a short time on Monday night as a precautionary measure,” the spokesperson said.
“We have since been cleaning, fixing any damage, completing building checks and working towards minimising the risk of any similar incidents in the future.
“We are working with the construction team to assess the timeframes for repairs.
“We would like to thank our Kingaroy Hospital staff for going above and beyond to continue delivering high quality health care for our patients throughout the challenging circumstances brought about by this storm.”
- Related article: Minister Quizzed Over Hospital Leaks
* * *
southburnett.com.au also raised concerns with Darling Downs Health about the demolition process which began at the hospital on January 19.
Heavy machinery began knocking down the brick building on the western side of the complex, which startled some local residents who believed the building was staying.
In June 2017, during a tour of the old hospital by then-Health Minister Cameron Dick, it was stated the most recent wing of the hospital – known as the “boomerang building” – would be incorporated into the final design as an outpatients clinic.
Concept plans released in 2017 (see below) showed the “boomerang building” remaining. And the project website still states: ” The old two-storey hospital building will be demolished. The current wards will be totally refurbished for specialist outpatients, renal dialysis and transfusion / tele oncology clinics. A new link building will be constructed that will house reception, administration, medical records, cardiac rehabilitation gym and café.”
However, the demolition of the “boomerang building” – complete with asbestos warning signs – is now well under way as part of Stage 2 of the project.
“The boomerang building is the first stage of demolition and will be followed by the main hospital,” the Darling Downs Health spokesperson said.
“It is anticipated that demolition of the boomerang building will be completed in the next week and the main hospital building by late February.
“The boomerang building will then be rebuilt.
“Following demolition, we will begin construction of buildings to complete the hospital’s main entrance, café, medical records area, and outpatient services facilities.
“Landscaping will also be done toward the end of the project, with Stage 2 on track for completion at the end of the year.
“Staff and patients moved into the new main hospital building in December 2020, and we have received lots of positive feedback about the new facility.
“We would like to thank our Kingaroy Hospital staff, patients, and the Kingaroy community for their patience as we continue works to complete the Kingaroy Hospital redevelopment project this year.”
- Related article: Hospital Board Eager To Start $62m Project
* * *
Readers concerned about the fate of some of the items connected with the old hospital have been reassured in an a separate statement from Queensland Health:
- The Matron Farr plaque has been temporarily moved to the garden near the dental building
- The Community Health sign will be re-erected during Stage 2 of the project
- The garden will also be re-landscaped in Stage 2 with many of the plants transplanted and saved for this project
- The foundation stone from the original pre-1930s building has also been kept and will be part of the sculpture/landscaping in Stage 2