Land secured for new Cairns surgical centre

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services The Honourable Yvette D'Ath
  • The site for the new Cairns 32-bed surgical centre has been secured, with the surgical centre to be constructed on the corner of Charles and Digger Streets in Cairns North, close to the Cairns Hospital campus.
  • The new building will be adjacent to James Cook University’s Cairns Tropical Enterprise Centre (CTEC), which in turn, will form part of the Far North Queensland Health Innovation Precinct.
  • The proximity of the surgical centre to JCU will allow for stronger linkages for teaching, learning and research.

The new state-of-the-art surgical centre is part of the $250 million Cairns Hospital Expansion project announced last year, which will also deliver a further 64 extra beds as part of a major refurbishment of the hospital.

The precinct will also accommodate the future Cairns Health and Innovation Centre, which will involve a purpose-built education and training, research and innovation centre and is critical to the hospital’s transition to becoming a university hospital.

The Palaszczuk Government has provided $4.65 million for the detailed business case for the Cairns Health and Innovation Centre to progress detailed planning for the project, with the business case expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath:

“It’s very exciting to get the ball rolling on the expansion of acute services with the new surgical centre close to the Cairns Hospital.

“The new surgical centre will have 32 beds and give the health service a dedicated space to tackle the ever-growing demand for health services throughout the region.

“This is yet another exciting project at the Cairns Hospital on the path to it expanding its capacity and capability and becoming a world-class university hospital.

“This is just one element of the expansion of bed capacity announced last year in our Queensland Health and Hospitals Plan, with 141 additional beds to be delivered in Cairns by 2026, including 45 beds this year.”

Quotes attributable to Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (HHS) Chief Executive, Leena Singh:

“We recently welcomed JCU’s announcement of an end-to-end Cairns medical school, which will see medical students starting and completing their medical education here in Far North Queensland.

“The first intake of this school was earlier this month.

“It is our vision to see many of these students undertake placement work at Cairns and Hinterland HHS facilities and hopefully commence full-time employment with us.

“Co-locating our surgical centre alongside JCU’s development makes perfect sense: it will help us retain local talent here in Cairns, and ultimately improve access to clinical services for Far North Queenslanders.”

Quotes attributable to Professor Simon Biggs, JCU Vice Chancellor:

“The new surgical centre will stand alongside the University’s Cairns Tropical Enterprise Centre, which will accommodate teaching and research in medicine, allied health and related disciplines, and is due for completion in 2026.

“JCU is committed to growing educational and career opportunities in the Far North and training the health workforce the region needs.”

Quotes attributable to Michael Healy, Member for Cairns:

“This is a positive announcement and one that our community has been waiting for.

“Our hospital is currently seeing a $26 million expansion of our Emergency department, a $70 million expansion of our Mental Health facility, and now we’ve secured this site for the new Cairns 32-bed surgical centre.

“With the growth in our city and region this is essential. This reflects our commitment to delivering the expanded health services and good jobs our region needs.

“The Palaszczuk Government is creating a health precinct that will be as good as any in the country when it’s finished.

“Even during construction it will have a big, positive impact and be a huge boost to the local economy, with the new surgical centre and hospital refurbishment creating 611 jobs during development.”

Quotes attributable to Craig Crawford, Member for Barron River:

“This is an exciting time for the city.

“Not only do we have a site now for the surgical centre, we have work underway on the $26.4 million Emergency Department Expansion and the $70 million Mental Health Unit.

“We’re also employing the additional frontline workers our health service needs to deliver more services for our growing community.

“This is in stark contrast to the LNP, who sacked 306 health staff in the Cairns and Hinterland region, including 48 nurses when they were in Government.”

Background / Further information:

In 2020, the Palaszczuk Government provided $15 million funding for the acquisition of land for the future Cairns Health and Innovation Centre, and $1.5 million for the preparation of a preliminary business case which has since been completed.

Queensland Health finalised the acquisition of the parcel of land approximately 3230 sqm on the corner of Charles and Digger Streets from JCU in 2022.

Health infrastructure projects currently underway in Cairns include:

  • $250 million Cairns Hospital Expansion that will deliver 96 additional beds (announced last year in the Queensland Health and Hospitals Plan), which includes:
    • state-of-the-art new surgical centre that will provide 32 beds
    • major refurbishment of the hospital that will provide 64 additional beds and ensure a modern fit-for-purpose space to care for acute surgical and medical patients
  • 45-bed sub-acute expansion to be delivered through a lease arrangement (announced last year in the Queensland Health and Hospitals Plan)
  • $70 million Cairns Hospital Mental Health Unit, which will provide 53 beds for adult acute mental health inpatients
  • $26.4 million Cairns Hospital Emergency Department Expansion
  • $11.5 million drug residential rehabilitation and treatment service with 10 beds for youth in Cairns.

The Palaszczuk Government increased the operational funding for Cairns and Hinterland HHS to a record $1.18 billion in 2022-23, an increase of 9 per cent on the previous year.

Since coming to government, the Palaszczuk Government has increased Cairns and Hinterland HHS’s operational funding by 77 per cent, compared to the LNP’s last Budget.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.