Sunshine Coast University Hospital has become the largest public healthcare facility in Australia to achieve the building industry's highest honour with a six Star Green Star Healthcare v1 Design and As-Built rating.
Sunshine Coast University Hospital has become the largest public healthcare facility in Australia to achieve the building industry's highest honour with a six Star Green Star Healthcare v1 Design and As-Built rating. Contributed

Health minister denies hospital funding is a 'token' gesture

HEALTH Minister Steven Miles has assured support of the region's two major hospitals amid Opposition fears of a "token” State Budget gesture.

LNP Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates said the funding for Stage 3 of the $1.8 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital was a "token gesture” and she claimed $200 million had been slashed from the Queensland Health infrastructure budget in Tuesday's State Budget.

"At this rate, it will take Labor three decades to complete Stage 3 of the Coast's main hospital,” Ms Bates said.

"It's clearly not a priority for Annastacia Palaszczuk.”

There was $2.74 million allocated in this year's budget to begin Stage 3 of SCUH, which included detailed capital project planning, programming, design validation, and complex service planning including equipment and training requirements.

Stage 3 was forecast to be finished in 2021.

Shadow health minister Ros Bates speaks outside Mackay Base Hospital
Shadow health minister Ros Bates speaks outside Mackay Base Hospital Zizi Averill

Health Minister Dr Steven Miles said Stage 2 of SCUH was "continuing to be rolled out” and work on Stage 3 would begin in this financial year.

He said the State Government had included a "record $1.2 billion to deliver health services on the Sunshine Coast” which he said was $46.3 million more than the previous year.

He said detailed design work on the Nambour Hospital redevelopment and early works on it would also start this financial year.

There was $10.17 million allocated to the Nambour Hospital redevelopment project, an $86 million project, in the upcoming financial year.

Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services Steven Miles arrives at the Nambour General Hospital to annouce a funding increase.
Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services Steven Miles arrives at the Nambour General Hospital to announce a funding increase. Warren Lynam

The $10.17 million allocated included design development, community consultation, early works and negotiation of the Guaranteed Construction Sum offer.

The project was set to be finished in 2022 and the remaining costs of both it and the SCUH roll-out were set to be budgeted in the coming years as they progressed through milestones.

Ms Bates claimed the Coast had been forgotten again by the State Government, and said it was "no wonder” SCUH's emergency department was "bursting at the seams and ambulance ramping has skyrocketed”.

Dr Miles said since 2015 they'd hired an additional 793 nurses and midwives, 271 doctors and 243 clinicians.