CONSTRUCTION has begun on the state of the art $70 million Atherton Hospital Redevelopment this week.
Turning the first sod on site last Thursday, Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHHS) Board Chair Clive Skarott AM said this was a historic moment for residents across the Tablelands.
“Breaking ground is an important milestone in the journey towards these long-awaited improvements for the Atherton Hospital and I’m delighted to see construction begin,” Mr Skarott said.
He said there had been significant planning and investment by the Queensland Government to provide these new facilities for the district.
“This redevelopment will revitalise ageing infrastructure and focuses on meeting the region’s future health needs,” Mr Skarott said.
“We anticipate this project will provide fl ow-on benefits to the district by supporting approximately 80 full time equivalent jobs over the period of construction.”
Atherton Hospital Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Dr Ann Aitken said the first building to be constructed will be the Community Allied and Mental Health Building on Jack Street which will include consultation rooms.
It is due to be completed in the first half of next year, with work to start on the Clinical Services building on Louise Street mid next year.
“The Clinical Services building will feature a new emergency department, medical imaging and sterilisation unit, maternity and birthing services with private ensuite facilities and two operating theatres,” Dr Aitken said.
“The redevelopment will also include a new helipad, three new ambulance bays, and improved internal access including new roads and covered walkways between facilities.”
Dr Aitken said careful planning meant the Atherton Hospital would remain operational throughout the construction period.
“With construction under way, Atherton Hospital staff are now focused on continuing to provide the best health care, while these fabulous new facilities take shape over the next three years,” she said.