UC site gets new northside hospital

UNIVERSITY of Canberra has been named the preferred site for a new sub-acute hospital.

The “Report on Site Selection for the New North Canberra Sub-Acute Hospital” identified four potential sites: the Calvary Hospital Campus, the University of Canberra, Gungahlin Town Centre and a block in Nicholls.

Each site was assessed again a range of criteria including size, topography, environment and heritage, access to facilities such as other hospitals, transport, compatibility with the Territory Plan, and opportunity costs.

According to the ACT Government, the University of Canberra has been identified as the best site for a new hospital.

“If the UC site was to be selected for the new hospital, the potential benefits to the University, the Government and the broader community could be significant, by attracting more students to Canberra and providing recruitment and training opportunities for our health workforce,” Chief Minister and Minister for Health Katy Gallagher said.

“I am determined to ensure that the investments we make deliver broader economic benefits to the Canberra community by creating linkages with business, industry and educational facilities. This will help us to continue to work towards delivering a truly strong knowledge-based city.”

The main benefits of the UC site include: the available land, the proximity of the site to Calvary Hospital, and the collocation with the Faculty of Health (Nursing and Allied Health) which could assist the ACT with training and recruitment of our workforce and provide opportunities for collaboration and research.

According to the report: “The patient groups usually included in the sub-acute group of services for planning purposes at a
national level are palliative care, rehabilitation medicine, maintenance care, psychogeriatrics, and geriatric evaluation and management.”

University of Canberra vice-chancellor Prof Stephen Parker said should the hospital be built at the university it would provide unique opportunities to add layers of learning and research to the hospital’s work, which would help alleviate the skills shortage in the health workforce and improve patient care by developing innovative treatments and practices.

“This learning hospital would not only provide patient-focused care delivered by multi-disciplinary teams, but also provide services and advice to people with chronic disease or disability living in their own homes,” Prof Parker said.

“Emerging developments in e-health and tele-health service delivery will be integral elements in this new system of care. The new hospital would become a centre for research in these areas.”

The proposed site for the hospital is the currently-undeveloped north-west corner of the University campus alongside Ginninderra Drive and Aikman Drive.

The report is available at www.health.act.gov.au/northsidehospital. Feedback can be provided by emailing HospitalPlan@act.gov.au until Friday, March 2, before a final decision is taken by the ACT Government.

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