Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

The difference $42m will make to Gladstone Hospital

A NEW emergency department at Gladstone Base Hospital could be the first step to whole new public hospital, and a stronger relationship between the public and private hospital.

With $42 million announced for a new emergency department, instead of renovating the existing area the state government is considering building the new facility between the two hospitals giving both direct access to it.

The new department, announced by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday, will double the bed-capacity of the facility to 22.

Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher is hopeful the funding announcement is a sign of more to come.

"This is the first time there has been a major amount of funding announced for the hospital, so that shows we are getting somewhere and this government is delivering," Mr Butcher said.

"The government knows full well the hospital needs replacing."

The government does appear to be looking to collaborate with the Mater private hospital for its vision of a shared emergency department.

But community consultation, which will include asking current medical staff, on the best design and plan starts next week. Mr Butcher said that process could take up to a 12 months.

"This emergency department will last for at least the next 20 years so we need to make sure we get it right."

Works on the new emergency department are expected to start next year, creating 150 construction jobs.