Dec 2019

Bundaberg Hospital announcement a big win for community's future

Published in News on December 13, 2019

Flood risks and growth constraints at the current location of Bundaberg Hospital urged the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board and Service to present a preliminary business case last April for its renovation or complete reconstruction.
This initial step was followed by an announcement made by the Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk, which was welcomed by the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board and Service. This statement pertains to the commencement of the search for Bundaberg Hospital’s new location in the future.

Peta Jamieson, who is the Board Chair, stated that the proclamation can be considered a big win for the community.

“We welcome the Premier’s personal announcement that the Queensland Government has supported us moving to the next stage of the Bundaberg Hospital redevelopment process, including the compilation of a detailed business case and searching for a new greenfield site. A new hospital would be the biggest development this region has seen in decades, and perhaps in its history – not just from a health perspective, but also because of the economic injection it would give to Bundaberg and Wide Bay Burnett regions. A new hospital would mean we would be able to provide more specialist services close to home and save more of our community from having to travel to Brisbane for care, which makes a big difference to patients and their families because it reduces stress and the cost burden. A new hospital would also lead to the creation of up to 800 new health-related jobs, and potentially up to 1,750 construction-related jobs throughout the duration of the project. We have always said that this would be a build for at least the next 50 years, so we had to get the planning right. Getting to this point has taken a lot of hard work by a lot of people, and I’d like to thank Chief Executive Adrian Pennington and his team of executives and clinical leaders for their commitment to this project and their diligence in preparing a thorough and compelling case for a new hospital,” Ms Jamieson said.

There is also a collaboration between the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board and Service or WBHHS and several agencies for the completion of the project. It includes the Building Queensland which is the Queensland Government’s infrastructure advisory body, members of Queensland Health’s capital and planning teams, and local community partners such as Bundaberg Regional Council.

According to Ms. Jamieson, the continued collaboration between WBHHS and Building Queensland will lead to the detailed phase of the business case.

“The detailed business case will determine things such as the exact size and dimensions of the hospital and all its units, our exact workforce needs, and all the equipment and infrastructure necessary to support a facility of this size and type. Crucial to all of this will be the search for a new site, which will need to take into account a range of issues such as access, parking, flood protection and the capacity for future growth and expansion. It will now be important for us to engage and collaborate with Bundaberg Regional Council, which will play a crucial role in supporting and facilitating the selection and development of a new site,” Ms. Jamieson added.
Chief Executive Adrian Pennington said while there was still a long road ahead, he welcomed the announcement and the huge health benefits it would bring to the community.

Adrian Pennington, who is the Chief Executive, stated that although the journey toward completing this project is still a long way to go, he still positively welcomed the statement since it is a step further to improving the community’s health benefits.

“This has been a long time in the making, but this is a great day for the Bundaberg and Wide Bay Burnett Communities. Our staff has worked hard over the past few years to make WBHHS one of the best performing health services in the state. The prospect of a new hospital will not only invigorate our team further but will also mean we will be able to expand our services – from acute care through to community, allied and mental health – and continue to provide the highest-quality care from a modern, purpose-built facility. Combined with the progress that’s being made with the development of a new medical program for Wide Bay and Central Queensland, in conjunction with CQUniversity and the University of Queensland, this will make a huge difference to our ability to recruit and retain high-caliber specialists to clinical and education roles. We’re very excited to have the opportunity to collaborate on the next phase of this vital project, and we look forward to seeing it eventually come to fruition,” Mr. Pennington added.