Johanna Boulevard is being extended near Eggmolesse Street in a project that marks a significant new step for the $1.2 billion New Bundaberg Hospital.
Once the access road is complete early next year the rest of the construction can begin.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath says the new hospital is expected to open in 2027.
“The New Bundaberg Hospital will increase capacity and reduce the need for patients to travel outside the region for more specialist care, so more locals can receive care closer to home. Wide Bay residents can look forward to 121 extra beds as part of the new hospital – an increase in bed capacity of nearly 50 per cent,” she says.
Construction of the new hospital will create around 2,887 jobs.
Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board Chair Peta Jamieson says it’s an exciting time for Wide Bay residents, the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service and the Board.
“This landmark hospital project is certainly the talk of the town at the moment,” Ms Jamieson says.
“What I’m hearing is that our community is excited for the significant boost our regional healthcare system will receive, industry is excited for the long-term economic benefits the project will bring and people within and outside of our region are excited for future career opportunities.”
The Health Minster has confirmed extra beds won’t be added to the current hospital and that work is instead underway to improve the flow into the system.
“I don’t believe we’re bringing extra beds on but it’s more about how we do the flow through. So we know there’s short, medium and long term issues here to address. The medium to long term is in the next five years to six years getting these hospitals built, getting the expansion happening, getting the 2,500 beds online. In the meantime though we can do things to divert people away from our hospitals and our hospital beds.”
“We can be doing things to help the flow so discharging patients quicker by making sure that once they’re discharged they’re getting more support in the community so they don’t get readmitted. I just met with the Board … that was one of the conversations we had. The readmission rate is too high and that’s about what support do they get when they leave?”