$1.8 billion university hospital opens on our doorstep
PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk and Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick officially opened the new, state-of-the-art $1.8 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital today.
It is the first new, not replacement, tertiary hospital to be built in Australia in 20 years.
"The new facility is now the flagship hospital of the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service and adds to the public health services already provided by SCHHS hospitals in Nambour, Gympie, Caloundra and Maleny,” the Premier said.
"Expanded services and a range of complex medical and surgical services that were not previously available locally in the public health sector are now available here, on the Sunshine Coast.
"About 10,000 people each year who live on the Sunshine Coast who used to go to Brisbane for treatment will now be able to receive their treatment here with family and friends nearby.
"Construction also meant about 8000 construction jobs and the community will also benefit from 443 extra nurses and 179 extra doctors since the election across the Coast.”
The Health Minister said the successful commissioning of SCUH as a large-scale public hospital had set a new benchmark nationwide.
"About 3500 staff have started work at SCUH, with that number to continue to expand as the facility grows to its built capacity,” Mr Dick said.
"As a teaching hospital, SCUH has attracted and will continue to recruit leading clinicians who are dedicated to improving treatment options and practices for patients, and committed to teaching and training the health professionals of today and the future.
"These medical and educational facilities will enable the region to cope with the major population growth we all know is coming.
"The Sunshine Coast's population of 360,000 is expected to increase to about 500,000 within ten years. The Coast's demographics will change along with the population and while about 17 per cent of residents are over 65, by 2030 this is predicted to reach 23 per cent.
"SCUH's world-class, expanded facilities and potential to train doctors who can live and stay on the Coast will go above and beyond addressing a growing and changing population.”