ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW: What's next for Gladstone Hospital
CONSTRUCTION has started on Gladstone Hospital's new $42million Emergency Department.
Woollam Constructions has set up its site offices at the hospital and started building trenches this week.
The upgrade includes moving the department to the Park St entrance of the hospital in a new 300 sqm building, a new main entrance and a linkway to the hospital.
The new department will have 36 treatment spaces, more than double the current 15 spaces, and a host of other features.
It's hoped the facility will attract more doctors and specialists to Gladstone after an exodus in recent years.
The works are expected to be finished by mid next year.
Construction is expected to require about 100 workers.
CQ Health chief executive Steve Williamson said its goal was to bring more health professionals into Gladstone and that the new ED could assist with this.
"We have had a reliance on locum doctors in the past but we're seeing some great appointments now coming forward here - a great new clinical director for the emergency department (Dr Dilip Kumar) - we want to see that go forward," Mr Williamson said.
"We want to see the emergency department be the first stage of a whole set of developments to support the future of this hospital.
"We want to see more education, more research, more services, more facilities and all of those things together will help to attract, retain and recruit more medical, nursing, allied health and support-service people to come and be part of a great hospital."
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the upgrade, decades in the making, was the biggest investment in Gladstone Hospital's history.
"This funding has come forward through a program that delivers for regional hospitals in Queensland," Mr Butcher said.
"We were lucky enough to receive $42million, which will help support 100 jobs during construction.
"This is going to be something special for Gladstone - a state-of-the-art accident emergency (facility) that's going to attract those type of doctors, nurses and specialist to this area."
Gladstone mayor Matt Burnett hoped the new facilities would attract further doctors and specialists to Gladstone, but also recognised more needed to be done in order to boost those numbers.
"It's a combination of both - build it and they will come is an absolute fact," he said.
Woollam Constructions will hold a contractors' information session at 5pm on February 20 at The Reef Hotel.
Current ED: Two resuscitation bays, six acute treatment spaces, two observation areas, five fast-track spaces.
New ED: Four resuscitation bays, 10 acute treatment spaces, eight short-stay spaces, five fast-track spaces, two consultation rooms, one procedure room, four pediatric treatment spaces, two mental health assessment rooms, four ambulance bays, two family interview rooms, two rapid assessment bays, two ultrasound rooms, X-ray, CT scanner.