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Townsville University Hospital looks to the future

Published:  06 January 2020

Townsville has been recognised for its role as a leader in tertiary medicine becoming the first regional hospital to become a ‘University Hospital’.

The Townsville Hospital will officially change its name to the Townsville University Hospital in line with the other major tertiary referral centres in Queensland.

Minister for Communities and Minister for Disability Services and Seniors and Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said this would be put Townsville on the map.

“Today is significant because it proves to the world that we are at the very forefront of tertiary healthcare delivery not just in Queensland but across Australia,” Minister O’Rourke said.

“Townsville Hospital is special, we have the only MR LINAC machine in the southern hemisphere and just one of two paediatric ICUs in the state.

“Every one of the doctors, nurses, and health workers who work here know how special this hospital is and I know they’ll be excited for this next big step.”

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said that this was proof the Government’s ambitious plan for Townsville was paying off.

“The Palaszczuk Government has always had a bold vision for Townsville Hospital to be at the cutting edge of delivering healthcare across the region,” Mr Harper said.

“We’ve added more nurses, more doctors, build new facilities, invested in new technologies and now we’re going to see Townsville Hospital take its place as our newest University Hospital.

“It’s going to mean Townsville is at the centre of future medical advances which will benefit the patients right here locally.”

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said this would mean better outcomes for patients.

“We’re uniquely placed here to leverage the co-location of a major tertiary hospital and a respected international university in JCU to attract world-class researchers, scientists and clinicians,” he said.

“More staff working on the cutting edge of medical advances can only mean better patient outcomes as they apply the latest breakthroughs to patient care.

“Townsville Hospital is already one of Queensland’s best and North Queenslanders are rightly proud of it, now it’s going to be bigger and better.”

Townsville Hospital and Health Board Chair Tony Mooney said the change was recognition of Townsville’s role as the major provider of specialist medical services in Northern Australia.

“We provide a suite of comprehensive specialist services on par with major metropolitan hospitals in the biggest capital cities throughout Australia,” Mr Mooney said.

“It reflects our close relationship with our neighbours at James Cook University and our collective desire to make Townsville a world-leader in research, diagnostics and medical excellence in tropical medicine.”

James Cook University Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding said both organisations recognised the significant benefits associated with having a university and a hospital co-located.

“Last week we launched the TropiQ health and knowledge precinct which will prioritise the further integration of the hospital and university campuses,” she said.

“There is a huge opportunity for North Queensland to attract the best clinicians, scientists and researchers from across Australia and the world.

“The recognition of Townsville as a University Hospital is a major achievement and one that will help further achieve our vision of becoming the hub for tertiary medicine and cutting edge research in northern Australia.”

Mr Mooney said the Townsville Hospital and Health Service’s name would not change and that the name change of the hospital would happen slowly.

“The big immediate change will be through our recruitment department but in terms of what people see at the hospital the changes will happen over time,” he said.

“We’ll get to changing the signage at the hospital as it comes due for replacement and over the next year, we’ll work on standardising our local branding.

“Through this change we join our fellow tertiary hospitals in Queensland with a designated title.”

The other Level 6 tertiary facilities in Queensland are Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital, Princess Alexandra Hospital, The Prince Charles Hospital, Gold Coast University Hospital and Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

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