Gladstone University Hospital to be established
SERVICES at Gladstone Hospital and the Mater will be integrated to create The Gladstone University Hospital – the health service’s Steve Williamson has informed staff.
The CQHHS CEO sent out an email to staff outlining the future of service delivery in the port city, which will capitalise on both hospitals being located on the same campus.
On August 6, Mr Williamson announced to staff CQHHS had “further developed our vision for the Gladstone Hospital to integrate the current Gladstone Mater Hospital facility into the future delivery of public health services.”
“Our vision is to operate the two separate hospitals as a single integrated hospital facility,” Mr Williamson said.
Mr Williamson did not detail the “public/private partnership opportunities” mentioned in the email, which Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher said would involve engaging a private health company to run the Mater, which would be leased by Queensland Health.
There was no mention in the email from Mr Williamson of upgrading Gladstone Hospital to a level four facility, or whether an Intensive Care Unit would be established.
“Our vision is for this to deliver a state-of-the-art hospital facility for the region providing expanded public hospital services, medical school education, research and community health services,” Mr Williamson said.
To ensure doctors have the most current skills available, Mr Williamson said the CQ Medical School would be opened in Gladstone from 2022/2023.
“In 2022/2023 we will begin teaching and training through the introduction of our regional medical program,” he said.
“The program, and the infrastructure required to deliver it, are the first steps towards delivering the Gladstone University Hospital.”
Mr Williamson said the acquisition of the Mater Hospital in early October was part of the process towards the Gladstone University Hospital.
“The new Emergency Department and acquisition of the Gladstone Mater facility are just the beginning,” he said.
“They will support the streamlining of service delivery based on the new strengths of an integrated campus, such as larger operating theatres and more ensuited maternity suites.”
In July 2019, The Observer reported that Gladstone was no longer classified as a Distribution Priority Area DPA for GPs, as it was considered to have adequate GP services for the needs of the population.
This meant that practices in the Gladstone region could not hire internationally trained doctors and must hire Australian doctors who have passed their GP exam or doctors who have worked in Australia for 10 years.