10 May 2023

New Cooktown Hospital appears to be a done deal

| Matt Nicholls
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WET weather might have deterred some locals but Torres and Cape Hospital and Health chief executive Bev Hamerton was please with the turnout of Cooktown locals at Thursday’s hospital redevelopment forum.

“I think if it was a sunny day we might have had a few more people out and about that would have popped in but I think we got a good cross-section of the community,” she said.

Held at the Sovereign Resort over an eight-hour period, the walk-in forum allowed locals to get an update on plans for the new hospital, as well as provide feedback.

“About half of those attended left comments,” Ms Hamerton said.

“It gave us an opportunity for a fresh set of eyes to take another look at what we have planned, which is important as sometimes we look at things with our own opinions and biases.”

Building a new Cooktown Hospital appears to be a slam dunk, although the project has yet to be officially funded by the state government.

Ms Hamerton said locals should expect that announcement at a later date.

Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service will make its next submission to Queensland Health soon and a finalised submission later in the year.

It will be then that a funding announcement will be made, likely in the tune of $50 million.

“I think Cooktown residents are much more confident that it’s happening now,” Ms Hamerton said.

The CEO also assured locals that existing services wouldn’t be impacted when construction begins.

“It’s not a greenfield project but we’ll create a temporary facility so that when we have to shut down emergency, for example, we have another building ready to go to move into in the interim,” Ms Hamerton said.

“I wouldn’t expect services to be impacted by more than a few days.”

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