Hervey Bay Hospital's new helipad ready for patients
HERVEY Bay Hospital's new helipad will start receiving patients this week as part of the first phase of the $44.2 million upgrade of the emergency department.
Health Minister Cameron Dick said this week also marked the completion of the 125-space car park, which was now open to the public.
"This will address some of the recent parking disruption resulting from internal roadworks," Mr Dick said.
"The next phase of the redevelopment project, which is already underway, includes the building of six new ambulance bays - an increase from the current two - and excavation and site preparation work for the construction of the main building."
Mr Dick said the new three-storey building would allow the emergency department to almost double its current capacity from 19 to 37 beds.
"This project has been made a reality thanks to the Palaszczuk Government's Enhancing Regional Hospital's Program and will enable us to meet the demands of our growing population."
Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board Chair Peta Jamieson said it was wonderful to see the first milestones of the crucial infrastructure project become a reality.
"This redevelopment is one of the Board's biggest current priorities, because it resolves capacity issues at the current emergency department, and it builds for the future of the Fraser Coast," Ms Jamieson said.
"I'm particularly pleased to see the completion of the new car park, which is more than double the original 48 spaces planned.
"Our Infrastructure and Assets team has worked with the contractors to ensure we've maximised our car parking capacity, which is a great win for our patients and visitors."
Tenders are now open for the the main construction phase, with WBHHS chief executive Adrian Pennington saying it was expected the successful tenderer would be announced in August.
"The early works phase is due to conclude in early to mid August, and it's our hope that the main construction phase would be able to start immediately on its completion," he said.
While there is still some minor disruption in the existing public car park off Nissen Street, the majority of internal roadworks are now complete and parking spaces that had been temporarily unavailable are now being reopened for use.
"Once again, we appreciate people's continued patience during this time," Mr Pennington said.
"Disruptions are an unavoidable reality of any construction work of this scale, but we know this facility will be worth the wait."