Queensland Government Media Releases

$71.6 million boost for Townsville hospital and health services

June 13, 2017

Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Cameron Dick

$71.6 million boost for Townsville hospital and health services

North Queensland residents will continue to receive high quality health care and hospital treatment with a $71.6 million funding boost to the Townsville Hospital and Health Service as part of the 2017-18 State Budget.

Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick said the new budget of $935.9 million was 8.3 per cent more than the 2016–17 operating budget of $864.3 million.

“This budget ensures the money is being spent where it is most needed,” the Minister said.

The Palaszczuk Government will also commence delivery of a $12 million upgrade to Townsville Hospital including outfitting of the south block on level three to accommodate biotechnology medical services and expanding the endoscopy department and relocating the breast screening clinic to resolve capacity and other issues in the building.

“North Queensland residents will benefit from other infrastructure improvements, including funds to complete construction of the Palm Island Primary Care Centre and Townsville Hospital’s paediatric ward, and additional mental health rehabilitation beds.

“There is all funding to reduce specialist outpatient long waits, particularly for Ear Nose and Throat services; a boost for telehealth services; and increased activity funding to meet demand for hospital services and improve access to gastrointestinal endoscopies.”

Mr Dick said the Townsville Hospital and Health Service funding was part of a $1.28 billion boost to Queensland’s health budget, with the state-wide budget reaching $16.554 billion in 2017–18.

He said almost $14 billion would go to the state’s 16 hospital and health services and other organisations to provide more staff, programs and services.

“The priority for this health budget is on frontline services and delivering on the Palaszczuk Government’s vision of making Queenslanders amongst the healthiest people in the world,’’ Mr Dick said.

Significant investments for 2017-18 include:

  • $18.8 million growth funding to meet projected increases in activity, including emergency department presentations, outpatients and elective surgery, and ensuring timely access to gastrointestinal endoscopy services;
  • $7.3million state funding to support initiatives aimed at the reduction of specialist outpatient long waits including a focus on patients waiting for an Ear Nose and Throat appointments;
  • $540,000 to support Telehealth initiatives as part of the Specialist Outpatient Strategy.

Townsville Hospital and Health Service will also be undertaking delivery of the following capital projects:

  • $7.7 million in 2017-18 towards construction of the $16.5 million Palm Island Primary Care Centre;
  • $6.7 million in 2017-18 to support the opening of the remaining nine beds within the Alec Illin Secure Mental Health Rehabilitation Unit;
  • $6.6 million expansion of The Townsville Hospital paediatric ward;
  • Commencing delivery of $12 million in improvements at the Townsville Hospital.

Mr Dick said the Townsville Hospital and Health Service was performing well.

“In the region, we are seeing 100 per cent of category 1, 95 per cent of category 2 and 98 per cent of category 3 ready for surgery elective surgery patients receiving it within the clinically recommended waiting times.”