Capacity at the Canberra Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit will increase by 25 per cent after the Commonwealth announced funding for a further eight beds.
Work on the ICU expansion will begin later this year with completion scheduled for the third quarter of 2021, bringing the total number of beds to 39.
Senator for the ACT Zed Seselja and ACT Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith announced the expansion together at the hospital.
Senator Seselja said the expansion would boost critical care capacity across the ACT.
“Canberra Hospital is the major tertiary hospital for the ACT and southern NSW, providing high-quality care to the sickest and most critical patients,” he said.
”This expansion will ensure people from Canberra and surrounding areas have access to lifesaving care, acute medical treatment and intensive care monitoring as the region’s population continues to grow.”
“Last year the Federal Government committed $13.5 million for the much-needed expansion of Canberra Hospital’s ICU as part of our $68 million Health Plan, delivering support for patients in Canberra who need it. The expansion fills an urgent need to address capacity shortfall.”
Minister for Health Stephen-Smith said the additional ICU beds will increase critical care capacity while the design and construction of the Canberra Hospital Expansion is underway.
“The expansion will connect to the existing ICU and includes improved amenities for staff, patients and their families. Design will focus on providing patients and staff with a contemporary, safe and comfortable environment,” she said.
Funding for the ICU expansion has been provided through the Commonwealth Community Health and Hospitals Program, which also includes $10 million for mental health initiatives, including a 10-bed low dependency mental health unit at the Canberra Hospital; $4.5 million to complete the build and fit-out of a new purpose-built facility at Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services; and $1 million for a hospital discharge liaison pilot program.
“Across the ACT, we are investing in our health infrastructure, services and programs to ensure Canberrans have access to the right healthcare, when and where they need it,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.
“This program of work will future-proof our health system and grow local jobs as our city recovers from the impacts of COVID-19.”
The construction of the Canberra Hospital Expansion is due to start next year and be complete by 2024. It will include a 60-bed ICU.