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15 January, 2020

Human remains found at Atherton Hospital

Human remains found at Atherton Hospital

By Phil Brandel

Construction work was halted at Atherton Hospital last week when human remains were found by workers who were building the new carpark at the Hospital.

Tablelands police Inspector Russell Rhodes said “it was normal police procedure to cordon off the area to while detectives investigated”

It was later discovered with help from hospital staff that “hospital waste including body parts was burnt on-site in an incinerator. This procedure started over 100 years ago and stopped sometime in the 1980’s.” Inspector Russell said, "We also learned that ashes from the incinerator were spread over orchard trees within the hospital grounds."

“It would be expected that further excavation will reveal more bones,”

Inspector Rhodes also said, “that the site had been adequately examined and did not provide any further concern”.

According to the Queensland health website “In the 2016/17 State Budget, the government announced the redevelopment of the Atherton Hospital as part of the $230 million Advancing Queensland’s Health Infrastructure Program.”

The redevelopment of Atherton Hospital will provide a new purpose-built Clinical Services Building, which includes an Emergency Department, Medical Imaging, operating theatres and inpatient ward areas. General refurbishments will take place in the existing building.

Architect’s Impression

The hospital upgrades are expected to be completed in early 2022.


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