Caboolture Hospital receives 32 new beds after long wait

HOSPITAL PROJECT: Pumicestone MP Rick Williams was on hand to announce the construction of a new 32-bed ward.
HOSPITAL PROJECT: Pumicestone MP Rick Williams was on hand to announce the construction of a new 32-bed ward. Contributed

THE Caboolture Hospital is celebrating the announcement of a new 32-bed inpatient ward by 2017, but for some it only leaves more questions unanswered.

The $13.9 million project for the Metro North Hospital and Health Service will allow the treatment of 2500 extra patients per year.

But Member for Glass House Andrew Powell has been left bemused after his former government budgeted $11.7 million for the beds and a new car park in its 2014-15 budget.

"Whilst I rejoice that 32 beds have finally been announced for the Caboolture Hospital, I have to ask, why has it taken so long?," he said.

"Initially their roll-out was delayed by the 2015 election, but every day of delay since has either been through ineptitude or inability.

"The announcement of beds raises the other obvious question - where is the car park upgrade?"

Labor state member for Pumicestone Rick Williams has been key to the Ward 3B master plan and said finding the money wasn't that simple.

"(LNP) said that, but they were never going to do it. They never budgeted for it, they never planned for it and if they were, it was by selling off farms," he said.

"We've had to fight like mad to get this because there was no money for it.

"The pipe is only so big, we've lost federal funding in the health and education sector, so any money you do find is a struggle," he said.

Mr Williams went on to say Ward3B was the first medical advancement the Caboolture Hospital had seen in four years.

However, in the past two years alone the hospital has received major upgrades that include the intensive care unit and audiology service.

The former was introduced by the Springborg government.

As for the car park, Mr Williams said there was a plan in place for the near future, but Caboolture Hospital executive director Lance De Ray could not confirm it.

"This announcement follows some significant medical advances at the hospital including the opening of an intensive care unit and the introduction of a new audiology service for local infants and children at risk of hearing loss," Mr De Ray said.

"In regards to car parking, we are actively working to identify a number of possible solutions to increase capacity."

Mr De Ray said Ward 3B would create new jobs to add to the 17 intern doctors who started at the hospital last month.

"The ward will also create some great employment opportunities for a range of doctors, nurses and support staff in the coming years."

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