Major upgrade work has started at the Gladstone Hospital, taking the region a step closer to state-of-the-art facilities to care for patients in a refurbished operating theatre and high dependency unit.
The work has been funded through contributions from natural gas companies QGC ($1.5 million for operating theatre work), and Santos GLNG ($1.45 million for high dependency unit work).
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg joined Santos GLNG and QGC to inspect the construction work, and thanked the businesses for their significant contributions to upgrade important facilities at Gladstone Hospital.
Gladstone Hospital Executive Director Dr Nicki Murdock said: "We are extremely grateful to Santos GLNG and QGC, our industry partners, for these generous contributions that will improve the hospital for both patients and staff."
"Up to 3,000 patients are expected to use the new facilities each year and it will be wonderful for our dedicated and professional staff to have a modern, purpose-built workplace which will help them provide even better care to our patients," Dr Murdock said.
QGC Managing Director Mitch Ingram said this was the latest part of QGC's $3.5 million investment in health services upgrades for Gladstone, working with Queensland Health.
"We've invested $1.5 million in the operating theatre upgrade, which includes modern air filtration and will mean joint replacements can be done locally by Gladstone's new orthopaedic surgeon," Mr Ingram said.
"We're delighted that this partnership will soon result in people avoiding travelling for medical services that will improve their quality of life."
Santos GLNG General Manager Downstream Operations Brenton Hawtin said the high dependency unit was vital for Gladstone's most vulnerable patients and Santos GLNG was pleased to help deliver critical new facilities.
"As a proudly Australian company working in Queensland for more than 50 years, Santos has a strong track record of investing the benefits of our business back into the community," Mr Hawtin said.
"Gladstone is a great place to live and we have a long future ahead of us here, so we want to make sure that we are adding real value to the region and getting behind important investments such as this."
Hutchinson Builders have been contracted to do the refurbishment, with work expected to take about 40 weeks.
Dr Murdock said there would be temporary disruption as some services need to be moved to allow the construction to take place.
"I thank our patients, visitors, and of course staff, for their patience while we work on building a better hospital," she said.