The Queensland Government has committed almost $53 million towards stage one of a plan to build a university hospital in Cairns.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said James Cook University and Queensland Health would work together on planning for the project, which is expected to support about 160 construction jobs.
“Together with James Cook University (JCU) we will deliver a university hospital for Cairns, just like we did in Townsville,” she said.
“While we kickstart the plan to transition to a new university hospital, this $52.9 million investment will also go to vital upgrades at the hospital as part of that transition.
“This will include a major expansion of the Emergency Department and a new endoscopy suite and operating theatre.
“Not only will this deliver world-class health facilities for the region, but this investment will support a further 159 construction jobs which is critical for our economic recovery.”
The $52.9 million investment includes:
- $1.5 million for the preliminary business case
- A $26.4 million expansion of the Cairns Hospital Emergency Department
- $1.5 million to create a multidisciplinary pre-admission clinic
- $2 million to add a new endoscopy room
- $800,000 to fit out a 12th operating theatre
- $20.7 million has also been committed to critical upgrades at Cairns Hospital which will cater for projected future demand on utilities at the site.
JCU Vice Chancellor Sandra Harding said the University would work with the Government on the business case to ensure that JCU’s purpose-built research and training facility was fully integrated with the Cairns University Hospital.
“Planning together from the start will ensure this facility attracts world-class clinical expertise to Cairns and provides an inspiring environment for students and staff,” Professor Harding said.
“We know from experience that training nursing, dentistry and medical professionals here builds the region’s health workforce.
“With this in mind, we aim to expand our full medical degree to Cairns – students can currently complete their final three years here – as well as offering pharmacy in 2021, with more allied courses to come.”