Originally publish on Ipswich First in April 2020

Ipswich locals will soon benefit from a new $25 million, 26 bed ward at Ipswich Hospital.

Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden said construction work will start mid-2020 and doors will be opened in time for next year’s flu season.

“This project, and the planned 50-bed Mental Health Unit which has already been announced, will support around 100 jobs during construction,” Mr Madden said.

“Overall, this will deliver more local health care for the people of West Moreton while also supporting the local economy.

“As locals know, Ipswich Hospital is landlocked, so purchasing the nearby council buildings while we can is incredibly important.”

West Moreton Health Board Chair Michael Willis said negotiations with Ipswich City Council on the purchase of land and buildings close to Ipswich Hospital are well-advanced.

“We look forward to continuing, constructive talks with the new Council as we anticipate and prepare for future local health care needs,” Mr Willis said.

Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said the new ward will help meet demand in the state’s fastest-growing hospital and health region.

“This will be the first new ward at Ipswich Hospital for six years,” Ms Howard said.

“It will help meet a rapid growth in demand and will mean more patients from the region can be treated closer to home.

“We know growth in the West Moreton Health Service is rapidly expanding which is why we committed $146.3 million for the first stage of the Ipswich Hospital expansion and refurbishment.

“I am also pleased to announce, that West Moreton Hospital and Health Service has received funding of $2 million and approval to commence the preliminary business case for the second stage of the Ipswich Hospital expansion and refurbishment in accordance with their Master Plan.”

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said funding for the ward is now part of the Palaszczuk Government’s 2017 election commitment for the first stage of the expansion and refurbishment of the Ipswich Hospital to address growth in Ipswich and the West Moreton region.

“Every Queenslander, no matter where they live, deserves access to free, world-class healthcare, which is what this commitment is helping to deliver,” Mr Miles said.

“The new Ward 6D will be built at Ipswich Hospital in the Ward Block.

“The ward will include a patient transit lounge where people can wait in comfort after discharge and before going home, in-line with West Moreton Health’s commitment to patient-centred care.”