141 extra beds for Cairns, including $250 million major expansion

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

The Palaszczuk Government will invest $250 million for a major expansion of hospital capacity in Cairns, as part of the largest investment in new hospitals and new beds in Queensland’s history.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the record health budget will deliver an extra 45 beds in the second half of next year, and a further 96 beds by the first half of 2026.

“Our record health budget will deliver the extra hospital beds the region needs for the future,” the Minister said. “These new beds will tackle the ever-growing demand for health services we’re seeing throughout the region and across the entire State. “Importantly, 45 of the new beds will come online in the second half of next year through our Accelerated Infrastructure Delivery Program.

“The State Budget also invests $250 million for a new surgical centre with around 32 beds as well as a refurbishment of the Cairns Hospital that will deliver around 64 extra beds.

“These crucial investments are another sign of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to funding world class health care for Queenslanders.”

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the record health budget was just what the region needed.

“By following the health advice and leading the nation in managing the COVID-19 pandemic, Queensland’s economy is booming,” Mr Healy said.

“For Cairns that means more domestic and international visitors, and an increasing population.

“This record health investment means that Cairns can take advantage of our thriving economy and the great lifestyle our city offers, whilst maintaining even better essential services.”

Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said the expansion of capacity in this year’s budget built on years of critical investment in the region.

“The Palaszczuk Government knows how vital a strong health system is for our region,” Minister Crawford said. “This investment will complement the hospital projects that have been recently completed or are currently underway. “This includes the Cairns Hospital Mental Health Unit, the Cairns Emergency Department Expansion and the Mossman Hospital Emergency Department Upgrade.”

Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt welcomed the funding announcement and the benefits it will provide for the local community.

“As well as being focused on creating additional bed capacity, this health budget ensures that Queenslanders can get world class care closer to home,” Mr Pitt said.

“Building health infrastructure also provides local job opportunities, and the $250 million expansion project will create around 611 jobs during construction, supporting the local economy.”

The budget has also allocated funding for the construction of a new Cow Bay Primary Health Centre, Cynthia Lui, Member for Cook said.

“Cow Bay is the first coastal village in the Daintree rainforest and this new clinic will be a great asset to the local communities.”

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