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World-class operating theatre on the way for north Queensland

Published:  27 February 2024

Townsville University Hospital’s state-of-the-art hybrid operating theatre is a step closer to completion with construction reaching a pivotal milestone.

Demolition works on the previous office space are nearing completion, making way for the world-class hybrid theatre design to be brought to life.

Townsville Hospital and Health Service executive director of infrastructure program delivery Stuart Garantziotis said the $17 million project was going to revolutionise the way surgery was performed in the region.

“The hybrid operating theatre is an innovative design that incorporates medical imaging capabilities into the theatre itself,” he said.

“This means patients won’t need to be relocated during surgery for x-rays and other medical imaging procedures for the support of vascular, cardiothoracic, neurosurgery, trauma and emergency services.

“The hybrid operating theatre also has potential for utilisation across multiple surgical sub-specialties.”

Perioperative and outpatient services nurse unit manager Tanya Schafer said the new theatre had the potential to save lives during emergencies.

“Minutes save lives in an emergency situation so it will be invaluable to have an operating theatre like this where patients don’t need to be moved between departments mid-surgery,” she said.

“The new theatre will also increase our elective surgery capacity, which will ultimately lead to better health outcomes for our community.”

Ms Schafer said the design and delivery of the new project was a collaborative effort.

“It’s great that there has been so much clinical involvement; this includes contributions from nursing staff, surgeons, and the medical imaging team.

“After almost two years of planning, we’re so excited to see construction reach this milestone, and we can’t wait to bring this new service to the people of north Queensland.”

Hutchinson Builders site manager Giancarlo Pozzebon said it was exciting to be involved in a unique project like this.

“Over the past 20 projects, Hutchinsons Builders has built a very strong working relationship with the health service infrastructure team, as well as the building, engineering and maintenance services teams,” he said.

Townsville University Hospital’s hybrid operating theatre is one of three ground-breaking projects being rolled out as part of the Clinical Services Upgrade.

The initiative will also see the construction of a standalone space for the North Queensland Persistent Pain Management Service, and the expansion of the outpatient department, which will address the prevalence of diabetes in the region.

Construction on all three projects is expected to be complete before the end of 2024.

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