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A hospital in Brisbane’s north could undergo a multi-million dollar expansion, including increasing beds by 50 per cent and an intensive care unit.
Brisbane City Council received a development application on Wednesday proposing the significant extension to North West Private Hospital at Everton Park.
North West Private Hospital chief-executive Chris Murphy said the hospital, which had been operating for more than 30 years, had experienced an increase in demand for its services.
“It’s partly population, it’s partly ageing population,” he said.
“The population that we have is ageing and also the surrounding population like to be cared for locally, so they like to be able to go to a hospital, be cared for close to home, (in a place) that’s convenient for people to visit.
“So we’re reaching capacity and had to look at expansion.”
Although the initial application could change throughout the assessment process, it currently proposes an extension of the main hospital building, construction of new three-storey consulting suites, an extension to the existing executive building and a multi-storey car park.
Mr Murphy said the extension could deliver a 50 per cent increase in hospital beds as well as establish an intensive care unit.
“We will be employing more staff, really all areas of the hospital will marginally increase in staffing from support services to housekeeping and catering,” he said.
“When it comes to the clinical areas like in theatres and wards we will need to recruit more staff including recruiting some more specialist staff for when we expand theatres and establish the intensive care unit."
The hospital, which opened in 1984, increased its capacity between 2007 and 2012 to include two additional theatres, new day surgery an additional labour ward and 30-bed maternity ward.
The assessment report, submitted as part of the application, said the hospital was at capacity and the hospital was no longer meeting the expectations of patients and doctors.
“There is an identified demand for the hospital to be renovated and expanded to provide for a major health facility that can provide for a high quality of patient care in a comfortable and contemporary environment,” the report said.
"The proposed staged extensions to the hospital will allow for the facility to continue to grow, providing improved medical and clinical facilities onsite and also building upon the hospital's function as a major employment generator."
Mr Murphy said the public hospital system provided an excellent service but many residents still turned to private health, especially when it came to making an elective choice about needing hospital services.
“You only need to get sick once and access your private health insurance and that will probably well and truly offset all of the premiums you might pay so that’s the benefit there,” he said.
If the development application is approved, construction is expected to start in 2019 and would be staged over two years.
The hospital would operate as normal during construction.