James Cook University will tomorrow (Saturday) open registrations for an expression of interest (EOI) for a new university private hospital to be built in the JCU/THHS medical precinct in Townsville.
Details of construction will be finalised with the successful proponent, but Stage 1 of the development is expected to offer at least 100 beds.
Independent analysis estimates it would cost about $113 M to build a 100 bed private hospital. Stage 1 of the project would create more than 300 full-time construction jobs and more than 350 operations jobs.
The expression of interest process is being done in collaboration with the Townsville Hospital and Health Service.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Division of Services and Resources, Tricia Brand said the co-location of the university, private hospital, public hospital and medical research institutes would cement the Townsville (Douglas) medical precinct as the epicentre of the health industry in northern Australia.
“The existing public hospital and university medical school will combine with the new private hospital, providing a tremendous boost to medical services, training and research.
“The medical precinct will combine world-class medical facilities, clinical training, teaching and research,” Ms Brand said.
“The private hospital will improve the healthcare options for the people of northern Australia as well as provide a timely boost to Townsville’s skill base and economy to benefit our communities.”
Chair of the Townsville Hospital and Health Board, John Bearne said it was an exciting opportunity.
“We are collaborating with the university to look at options that arise from the EOI process and we hope this will result in more opportunities for patients in Townsville and also increase the attractiveness of Townsville to health professionals to live and work.”
Mr Bearne said a co‐located private hospital could allow for increased medical services and provide more streamlined services to patients.
“For example, it would allow the efficient transfer of patients from the public emergency department to private facilities.
“It could also allow medical specialists to work efficiently between private and public areas and to provide clinical training, rather than driving between facilities.”
Separately, JCU is also looking to provide consulting rooms for medical specialists and allied health activity to complement the university private hospital development.
Market research conducted by JCU has confirmed there is unmet demand in the region for health and hospital services and an opportunity to source patients from overseas, for example, Papua New Guinea and other tropical locations.
The private hospital will also expand the capacity of teaching and training opportunities for students and support the expansion of undergraduate and postgraduate training and beyond.
“The private hospital will also expand the university’s teaching and research portfolio and foster innovative laboratory research for future health treatments,” Ms Brand said.
It’s expected construction of Stage 1 of the university private hospital will be completed in 2019.