Construction on the $710-million Ipswich Hospital is now one step closer to completion as Stage 2 of the project, expected to add 200 beds and 1,700 construction jobs to the region, is awarded to BESIX Watpac.
Local officials highlighted the comprehensive nature of the expansion, which includes not only the 200 new beds but also a new Emergency Department, purpose-built acute clinical service building, six extra operating theatres, a satellite medical imaging service, and a new Central Sterilisation Service Department.
The project is particularly signigicant for the expansion of healthcare services in the region. It is expected to be fully operational by 2027. Local authorities emphasised the short-term benefits for local businesses and suppliers who eagerly anticipate the opportunity to be part of such a significant project.
“It is critical that Queensland Health and BESIX Watpac Qld ensure that our local businesses and suppliers receive orders and that they are informed and given the opportunity to bid for subcontracts, rather than the jobs and work leaving the Ipswich region,” Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said.
The State is currently overseeing the $146.3 million Ipswich Hospital Stage 1 upgrade project, which is set to be completed in late 2023. This project includes the establishment of an Acute Mental Health Unit, an MRI suite, a 26-bed medical and surgical ward, and a transit lounge for the local community. Additionally, a new Satellite Hospital in Ripley is scheduled to open later in 2023.
Councillor Nicole Jonic, Chair of the Economic and Industry Development Committee, highlighted the direct benefits that the hospital expansion program will bring to the Ipswich industry.
“Health care and social assistance is one of Ipswich’s core industries, with 17 percent of our region’s workers employed in the sector,” Cr Jonic said.
Construction of the Ipswich Hospital Stage 2 expansion would commence by 2024 and is anticipated to be complete by 2027.