St Stephen’s Maryborough centre may become palliative care
ST STEPHEN'S Hospital in Maryborough could be saved from closure by a new proposal to turn the facility into a palliative care unit.
The centre was due to shut down next year, after the opening of the new $87.5 million Hervey Bay hospital, due to lack of acute support and specialist services in Maryborough.
But a potential partnership between St Stephen's and the public sector could breathe life back into the site by creating a specialist palliative care centre.
"We have been working on identifying an alternative use for the site for some time," St Stephen's Hospital general manager Leanne Tones said.
"The provision of a palliative/transitional healthcare service for the Fraser Coast will be a huge benefit to this community and we are excited to be part of this project."
Ms Tones said the proposal was in its early stages and there would be a lot of work to secure necessary government approvals.
If it is successful, it will be one of only a handful of dedicated palliative care facilities in Queensland, offering a service the Maryborough community has long lobbied for.
A petition with almost 7000 signatures in support of a palliative care centre was submitted to Maryborough MP Anne Maddern in November last year.
A Queensland Health spokesperson confirmed the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service executive and board had met with St Stephen's officials.
"There have been talks about the possibility of a palliative care colloboration in Maryborough with a view to improving palliative care services in the region."