Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has called on the local community to back and take pride in the $1.8 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital ahead of its scheduled April opening.

The hospital is set to revolutionise public healthcare in the country and inject unprecedented opportunities for the Sunshine Coast. 

Mr McArdle said people should take stock and remember how hard the Coast community fought to get the hospital signed off on and built in the first place. 

“For years Sunshine Coast residents fought hard for a new public hospital and now it’s almost here,” Mr McArdle said. 

“Remember the cry Hospital Delay, No Way, remember the Sunshine Coast University Hospital Action Group (SCUHAG) and the hundreds who marched to protest the delay in funding the hospital and the 10-year effort we all put in to make certain it would be built.

“Why then are we the residents of the Coast who fought so hard to get the new hospital going out of our way to talk downs its value and losing sight of the bigger picture?

“Of course medical training is critical, but let’s not down-grade our hospital and all the hard work we have put into it.

“Let’s be thankful for the great work Queensland Health employees on the Coast and the community have done to get it up and running and the myriad of medical courses now being offered by USC, including nursing and midwifery which didn’t exist 10 years ago.”

The Hospital is set to be one of the largest employers on the Sunshine Coast, requiring 3500 staff upon its opening and growing to around 6000 once complete in 2021. 

Mr McArdle said the hospital will deliver; 
•    A fully-equipped modern emergency service facility which will be state of the art.
•    A comprehensive cancer centre including radiotherapy and chemotherapy – saving hundreds of people from having to travel to and from Brisbane for treatment each year.
•    The provision of specialised medical and surgical services including neurosurgery, cardiac surgery, maxillofacial surgery and paediatrics.
•    Maternity services, most with private rooms, including a special care nursery for unwell newborns
•    Interventional and diagnostically support services including PET scanner for diagnosing certain types of cancer and cardiac catheterisation laboratories.

”The hospital is 164,000 square meters in area over six functional levels and will have a heli-landing pad for critical emergencies. It will open with bed capacity of 450 that will increase by 288 to 738 beds. 

“We have a lot to be thankful for and we have a lot pat ourselves on the back about.

“This hospital came about because you the residents, over a long time, fought for it.

“Together we should be proud of what we have achieved. There is always scope for improvements and a university medical training school is very important but we who fought for it should be proud of it not diminishing its worth,” concluded Mr McArdle.