Companies Shortlisted For QLD’s New Hospitals, Expansion Of Major Hospitals Including Prince Charles Hospital

Around 12 companies have been shortlisted for the delivery of three new hospitals and the expansion of nine major hospitals, including The Prince Charles Hospital in Chermside.

Read: Budget Allocated for the Completion of Adolescent Extended Treatment Centre at The Prince Charles Hospital

The building contractor shortlist was established based on an expression of interest process and through Queensland Health’s broader engagement with industry.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath said the shortlisted contractors had already demonstrated their commitment to partnering with the government to deliver for growing communities across the state.

The Prince Charles Hospital
Photo credit: Peter Baskerville/Google Maps

“Queensland Health has set high standards for the contractors, based on sound design principles that focus on people, place, value add and technology,” the Minister said.

“Successful tenderers will need to meet these standards as they finalise the designs, working in collaboration with the newly formed Health Capital Division in the Department of Health and in partnership with the local Hospital and Health Services,” she added.

TPCH is among the six hospitals in the South East Queensland region set to receive a major expansion, alongside Redcliffe, Ipswich, Logan, QEII, and Princess Alexandra hospitals.

The Prince Charles Hospital
Photo credit: The Prince Charles Hospital/Google Maps

Under the Queensland Health and Hospitals Plan, the State is about to get three new hospitals to be located at Toowoomba, Coomera, and Bundaberg. All these new hospitals, estimated to cost at least $1 billion each, are estimated to be complete by the second half of 2027.

The expansion of Prince Charles Hospital will add 93 more beds and is estimated to cost around $300 million. It’s set for completion during the second half of 2027.

Read: Data Reveals Ramping Times At The Prince Charles Hospital

The construction of these three new hospitals and nine major hospital expansions will also provide a significant economic boost and support local businesses, creating around 19,947 construction jobs.

Data Reveals Ramping Times At The Prince Charles Hospital

Instances of ramping at the Prince Charles Hospital in Chermside have increased from 45 to 47 per cent, meaning nearly half of all patients waited more than 30 minutes on board an ambulance before being admitted to the hospital in December 2021, based on data by the Queensland Ambulance Service. 

Read: New Data Reveals Worsening Ramping Times In Hospitals Across Qld, Including Chermside

In medical terms, ramping refers to the time when a patient is left in the backs of ambulances or corridors because the emergency department is full.  

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath released the data, which was recorded between November and December 2021, in response to a parliamentary question and said the pandemic had placed immense pressure on health systems across Australia. 

Describing the situation as ‘heartbreaking,’ Minister D’Ath said no government wants to see these delays, but no one has a quick fix to this.

Following the reopening of domestic borders in the State in December 2021, Queensland experienced a major Covid-19 wave, but ramping was still above 44 per cent in South East Queensland by October. 

The Prince Charles Hospital, which has the second biggest emergency department in the State, has also recorded a median waiting time of 39 minutes for Category 3 or potentially life-threatening cases, where a patient should be seen by a treating doctor or nurse within 30 minutes.

Photo credit: Mohammed Khairy Abdelaty/Google Maps

At the largest hospital in Queensland, the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in Herston, half of all ambulance patients experienced ramping, a slight increase from its 48 per cent prior to the last quarter of 2021.

Other hospitals in the State also recorded increased ramping, such as West Moreton Ipswich Hospital (from 45 per cent to 66 per cent); Queen Elizabeth II (from 47 to 52 per cent); and Logan Hospital (from 64 to 66 per cent). 

In a media statement, Minister D’Ath said the Commonwealth needs to invest in better primary health care and improved access to GPs to reduce pressure on Queensland’s busy public hospitals.

New Data Reveals Worsening Ramping Times In Hospitals Across Qld, Including Chermside

The 2022 public health report by the Australian Medical Association revealed Queensland’s public hospitals are performing well overall, but more than a third of Category 3 emergency department patients are not seen within the recommended 30 minutes.

Read: Woman with Confirmed Case of Japanese Encephalitis Virus Now Being Treated in Chermside

In Chermside, The Prince Charles Hospital has recorded a median waiting time of 39 minutes for Category 3 or potentially life-threatening cases, where a patient should be seen by a treating doctor or nurse within half an hour of arriving.

The hospital has a total median wait time of 27 minutes for all categories as of the last quarter of 2021. The numbers are considered out of range of the latest national performance, but not in the poorest performing group of hospitals.

prince charles hospital emergency department
Photo credit: Mohammed Khairy Abdelaty/Google Maps

The Prince Charles Hospital, whose emergency department is the second biggest in the state, also recorded a total of 2418 minutes or 40.3 hours of patient off-stretcher time based on records from August 2021 to January 2022.

The target is to get most patients off stretchers and into EDs within 30 minutes but Queensland Audit Office noted that it has not been met across the state for the past seven years.

Patient off stretcher time (POST) is the amount of time it takes to transfer patients off ambulance stretchers, with a completed clinical handover, to EDs. For POST, Queensland’s target is to transfer 90 per cent of patients within 30 minutes.

Based on data from Queensland Health Emergency Department Information System, TPCH transfers 55 per cent of its patients off stretchers within 30 minutes.

Recommendations to Improve Services

Prof Chris Perry, President of AMA Queensland recommended short, medium and long-term actions to address the hospital bed block that is leading to emergency department ramping. 

“We need 1,500 more beds, extended hours for non-ED hospital functions like pharmacy, and different ways for patients to access hospital care other than through the ED,” said Prof Perry.

queensland health
Photo credit: RODNAE Productions/Pexels

He said hospitals in Queensland must run at less than 90 per cent occupancy so there is surge capacity, and Hospital and Health Services must conduct a detailed analysis of patient flow within the hospital and report against that analysis.

“This can work if it is underpinned by strong effective leadership, innovation, and appropriate investment by the State and Federal Governments,” he added.

Budget Issues

Despite efforts to improve the quality of public health care, this year’s budget papers, which was delivered on 29 March 2022, revealed there will be a $21 million cut from Queensland public hospitals next financial year.

The State Government wanted the federal government to meet it halfway with 50:50 funding for healthcare for Queenslanders in the federal budget but the LNP’s Federal Budget failed to deliver Queensland its fair share of funding.

The 2021–22 Budget provides a record $20.885 billion in operating funding, as well as a $1.35 billion capital program to continue to deliver first-class health services to Queenslanders.

A key focus of the record funding will be to continue the state’s response to the ongoing health impacts from COVID-19 and the vaccination roll-out.

Budget Allocated for the Completion of Adolescent Extended Treatment Centre at The Prince Charles Hospital

The State Government will invest almost $28 million to go towards the completion of the new Adolescent Extended Treatment Facility at the Prince Charles Hospital and other adolescent mental health facilities in SEQ.

Under the State 2019-20 Budget, a total of $27,946,000 will be allocated for the  Adolescent Extended Treatment Facility at the Prince Charles Hospital, which is already  undergoing construction, as well as the construction of two new adolescent Step Up Step Down units in Brisbane and the refurbishment of two adolescent Day Program spaces at Logan and the Gold Coast.

Being one of the State Government’s key priority sectors, Healthcare will get a record allocation of $19.2 billion, up by $929 million from last year’s under 2019-20 Budget. The health budget will ensure that more doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals are employed and more hospitals are built to keep Queenslanders healthy and active.

The Prince Charles Hospital Adolescent Extended Treatment Facility

Located at the Prince Charles Hospital campus in Chermside, the Adolescent Extended Treatment Centre is being constructed for adolescents from across Queensland who are suffering from severe mental health issues.

Photo Credit: The State of Queensland (Queensland Health) 1996-2019 /

Once it opens in 2020, the Treatment Centre will provide inpatient treatment and rehabilitation for an extended period. The facility will have 12 residential places/beds with statewide catchment area and 10-day treatment places for the local community catchment. 

Photo Credit: The State of Queensland (Queensland Health) 1996-2019 /

More health infrastructure spending to meet growing demand

Under the Building Better Hospitals Program, the State Government will spend $956.9 million to help meet the growing demand for health infrastructure. 

“We will keep the momentum going for building better hospitals,” Health and Ambulance Services Minister Steven Miles said.

“This year’s health infrastructure budget will deliver projects to ensure there are enough beds available to keep meeting increased demand.”

The health infrastructure investments this year will include: 

$36.3 million commitment for the redevelopments of the Logan, Caboolture and Ipswich Hospitals as part of the Building Better Hospitals program.

  • $78.6 million to continue the redevelopment of the Roma Hospital and upgrade of the Gladstone Hospital Emergency Department.
  • $1.4 million for the upgrade of the Redland Hospital, to provide additional Emergency Department beds and birthing facilities.
  • $40.7 million for projects in the Rural and Regional Infrastructure Package, including the construction of a new community hospital in Blackall and redevelopments of the Sarina and Kingaroy Hospitals, Townsville Hospital’s Clinical Services and Maryborough Emergency Department and Specialist Outpatient Department.

Multi-storey Car Park to be Built at The Prince Charles Hospital

The Queensland government announced its plans of building a multi-storey car park at The Prince Charles Hospital in Chermside West to ease hospital parking stress.

The state government has previously stated its plans to spend up to $7.5 million in the next four years to make car parking at public hospitals more affordable and accessible.

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For The Prince Charles Hospital, a second car park is set to be built in the premises. This will be publicly controlled, thereby promising to have fair fees for all patients.

Read: Chermside’s TPCH Exploring Hospital Car Park Expansion; $7.5M Set Aside for Queensland Hospital Parking

Brisbane councillor for Marchant Fiona King previously filed a petition for the state government to evaluate the need for additional parking for the hospital. She emphasized the need to consider the situation as a matter of urgency. The petition garnered a total of 219 signatures.

Health Minister Steven Miles confirmed that Queensland Health will be in charge of managing and financing the construction of the second multi-storey car park.

The construction will be funded by a loan from the Queensland Treasury which will be repaid by revenue from the carpark.

CCO Public Domain / Tama66 / Pixabay

Mr Miles said it was clear that the government should be the one to build the carpark, not the private sector, so that staff, patients, and visitors can expect lower parking charges. Instead of delivering profits to shareholders, the car park would only need to cover its costs.

Whilst the number of parking spaces and exact location is yet to be determined, the government is now working on developing the plans for the new car park. According to the Health Minister, once the design is finalised, construction will take around 18 months.

Chermside’s TPCH Exploring Hospital Car Park Expansion; $7.5M Set Aside for Queensland Hospital Parking

Car parking at public hospitals in Queensland may soon be less burdensome as the state government plans to spend up to $7.5 million in the next four years to make car parking at public hospitals more affordable and accessible.

The budget is part of the state government’s four-point action plan, which will include expansion of car park facilities at public hospitals such as The Prince Charles Hospital (TPCH) in Chermside.

“I know the cost of car parking is a real concern for many patients, carers and their families,” said Health Minister Cameron Dick.

To address the parking needs at public hospitals, the state government will take the following actions as part of its four-point action plan.

  1.   Develop car parking concessions policies at all hospital and health services with paid parking.
  2.   Increase the number of concessional parking slots at public hospitals.
  3.   Develop future public hospital car parks.
  4.   Consider new parking options at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.

Government Directive

The cost of parking at public hospitals has been a major issue and burden to patients, their families and carers. The complaints had led to a petition signed by nearly 17,000 supporters, followed by a directive from the state government ordering public hospitals to make parking more affordable and accessible.

The state government issued a directive on 1 July 2017, requiring all public hospitals and health services in Queensland to come up with local policies to make car parking more accessible, safer and more affordable.

Hospitals and health services with paid parking must come up with a car parking concessions policy by 1 October 2017.

In addition, the public health facilities are also directed to develop a local staff car parking policy by 31 December 2017. This policy is intended to make parking safer on-call hospital staff or hospital employees completing or commencing shifts between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Read the state Health Service Directive here.

Car Parking Expansion at Public Hospitals

Part of the solution to parking issues at public hospitals is the expansion of car parking facilities. This is already being done in some facilities across Queensland, including Rockhampton Hospital, which will soon see the construction of an almost 600-space multi-storey car park. The carpark will be owned and operated by the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service.

Caboolture Hospital will be providing up to 300 new car spaces, while 500 car parks will be added at Logan Hospital.

Photo credit: Google Streetview

At The Prince Charles Hospital in Chermside, the government is looking at options to expand car park availability. One option being considered is a proposal from the current operator under the Market-Led Proposals program of the Queensland Treasury.

“Our preferred approach for new multi-storey hospital car parks is to develop a Government Portfolio Model, financed by the Queensland Treasury Corporation,” said Mr Dick.

“However, private public partnerships will be retained as an option for circumstances where it can deliver a better outcome, for example, when we are developing a large ‘greenfield’ hospital site.”

New Adolescent Extended Treatment Facility to be Constructed in Chermside’s Prince Charles Hospital

The Palaszczuk Government has allocated a budget of $8.7 million for 2017-2018 for the construction of the new Adolescent Extended Treatment Facility at The Prince Charles Hospital in Chermside. The total proposed investment for the facility construction is $68.9 million.


New Hope After the Barrett Closure

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The construction of the Adolescent Extended Facility was an alternative care plan after the closure of the Barrett Adolescent Centre three years ago. Barrett was the only long-term residential unit for young people with severe mental illness in Queensland, but the former Health Minister Lawrence Springborg closed this institution in January 2014.

Criticisms rose upon the closure of the centre. Commissioner Margaret Wilson stated that there were no analysis of the needs of the young patients and no consultation with specialists before the closure.

Project Launch
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As part of the solution, a new facility will be constructed under the Palaszczuk Government by the recommendation of the Commission of Inquiry. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that the facility will be constructed in 2017 and will meet the community’s needs.

“We will now work with consumers and families, including those directly associated with the former Barrett Adolescent Centre to ensure we are delivering care that meets the community’s current and future needs. Over the coming months, we will work closely with experts, families and consumers to define the specific design of the facility. The LNP Government was told by patients, by families, by experts that it needed to build this facility, but they did not listen. We are listening and we are delivering for young Queenslanders who need this facility,” Ms. Palaszczuk said.


The Prince Charles Hospital

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The Prince Charles Hospital is a major teaching hospital in Chermside and around the North Brisbane area with emphasis in cardiac, respiratory, and in-patient psychiatric unit.

It was first opened as “Brisbane Chest Hospital” in 1954 as a treatment centre for tuberculosis. Later in 1961, it was renamed as “The Chermside Hospital” due to its expanding expertise in treating other ailments.

To honour the visitation of His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, in Brisbane, the hospital was renamed as “The Prince Charles Hospital” in 1974.

In 2007, the hospital underwent a major upgrade, followed by the introduction of general medical and general surgical services. State-of-the-art facilities continuously developed and constructed in its premises, including this year’s Adolescent Extended Treatment Facility.


The Prince Charles Hospital — Mental Health Care Provider

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The Prince Charles Hospital has a reputation for providing integrated community and in-patient services that support the recovery of people with mental illness. Their facilities and services focuses on the provision of recovery and a consumer-centered approach through acute and extended care and community rehabilitations.

“We promised to implement the recommendation of the Commission of Inquiry regarding a new facility, and the campus of Prince Charles Hospital is the ideal location, near schools, transport and recreation. The Prince Charles Hospital is one of Queensland’s best, with a strong research culture and long history of providing mental health services,” Ms. Palaszczuk said.

“This new facility is essential, but it’s just one part of a broader plan to reform and improve services for young people. We are allocating 25 per cent of our $350 million five year plan for mental health, alcohol and drug services, Connecting Care to Recovery towards new services for children and young people,” Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said.

The new facility will add to Palaszczuk Government’s vision for health, “My health, Queensland’s Future: Advancing Health 2026” that is committed in making Queensland the healthiest place in the world by 2026.