A new public hospital at Springfield which is planned to include an emergency department, intensive care unit and maternity services is set to be developed and co-located at the site of the Mater Private Hospital.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Monday that the current 95-bed private facility would be expanded, delivering 174 new public beds to cater to the region’s growing population.

The revelation comes following recent calls from Springfield developer Springfield City Group which urged the State Government to approve a public hospital in a bid to combat ramping and excessive patient wait times.

The Queensland Times reported in March that 40 per cent of patients attending Ipswich Hospital’s emergency department were not being treated within clinically recommended times.

Fortunately, it appears the State Government has both listened and delivered.

While the facility is to be privately fund by Mater Health Services, State Government will reportedly chip in an initial $177 million to cover patient bedding.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the new addition to Greater Ipswich’s public health care would prepare the area for an expected population boom in years to come.

She said about 100,000 new residents were expected to call Springfield and Ripely Valley home over the next five years.

It will house more than 170 overnight and same-day beds, operating theatres as well as a new emergency department to allow more complex care to be undertaken locally.

Long-time advocate and Member for Jordan Charis Mullen welcomed the announcement, saying the expansion would provide much-needed public health services and a significant boost to the local economy.

“I have been a strong advocate in supporting our community’s wished for more public health services and today’s announcement shows that our Government is listening,” Ms Mullen said.

The new facility is also predicted to ease mounting pressure on the Mater’s private sector, subsequently improving its bed capacity.

Springfield City Group Chairman Maha Sinnathamby said the expansion would further improve the region’s health services that already catered to a large portion of the community.

“This expansion will not only service the 585,000 people who live within a 22-minute drive, but also the parents of the 1000 plus babies born every year in the 4300 postcode,” Mr Sinnathamby said.

“The new public hospital will help address the increasing demand for public hospital services in South East Queensland.”

Treasurer Cameron Dick said the funding partnership between Mater Health Services and State Government was one of many health service commitments to be made as part of June’s upcoming budget.

He said investing in health services would be a key priority of the budget to help ease demand on hospitals and healthcare workers.

“As we continue to deliver our economic recovery plan to grow Queensland jobs and businesses, we know how important it is to maintain the strength of our health system,” Mr Dick said.

“Greater Ipswich is one of Australia’s fastest growing regions, with an ever-increasing demand for public health services,” Premier Palaszczuk said.

“This means we need to invest now to create the beds we know we need in the future.”

More than 700 jobs will reportedly be generated during the construction phase, while more than 1000 new frontline health positions would be created once the facility is operational by late 2024.


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