10 May 2023

Health service has big plans for Weipa Hospital

| Matt Nicholls
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A draft design from Destravis Group of how the Weipa Hospital might look with additional services and car parking added to the facility.

ADDITIONAL services, increased staff accommodation and more car parking are being slated for the Weipa Hospital as the region’s health service looks to the future.

The Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service has been consulting with the Weipa community but will seek additional input from the public as part of its master plan review.

“With a master plan, it’s good to do a review every five years,” said TCHHS asset management director Dean Davidson.

“The plan was completed prior to the Torres and Cape clinical services plan so it’s important to re-align it.

“A lot has changed with the addition of a CT scanner, three renal chairs and we are currently adding a birthing unit.”

The review is being undertaken by consultancy firm Destravis Group and includes the Nanum and Rocky Point (old hospital) sites in Weipa.

It provides strategic direction for the development for the next five to 20 years.

The draft proposal has been developed in alignment with the TCHHS clinical service plan and includes the following:

• Increase in the number of residential aged care beds from 10 to 18;

• Increase emergency department beds from 5.5 to 10; and

• Increase inpatient beds from 10 to 20.

A further two chairs would be added to the renal ward, and one for chemotherapy.

Women’s services, including the new birthing service, would be co-located and the operating theatres upgraded.

The proposal also includes upgrades to medical imaging, including the addition of mammography, outpatient, GP facilities and a staff hub.

Staff accommodation capable of housing up to 48 people, has also been proposed for Rocky Point.

Six units for off country accommodation could also be built on-site at Nanum, with the final construction proposing 232 parking spots.

TCHHS chief executive Bev Hamerton said the construction would take place in stages, and it was proposed to begin with the new residential aged care facility on the eastern side of the current hospital site, on land already owned.

She said the proposed redevelopment was the product of extensive internal and external consultation to identify the key health priorities for Weipa and the surrounding communities.

“We are listening to the community and staff and understand there is a growing need, in particular, for more aged care beds and expansions to the existing emergency department and inpatient beds,” she said.

“We want to deliver a facility that will adequately service the area well into the future.”

Mr Davidson said feedback from the community was vital before refining the proposal.

“This facility is here for the people of Weipa, Napranum, Mapoon and other surrounding communities, so we would appreciate feedback from anyone across the region,” he said.

“In our discussions with the Weipa Town Authority, they have been very supportive.

“This is all about increasing self-sufficiency in Weipa and benefiting the community members so they can minimise travel out of the region.”

Mr Davidson said once the feedback was received and plans adjusted and costed, the health service would then seek funding, meaning it could take several years before any action.

To have your say, email [email protected]

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