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How a new $150m private hospital will become 'medical magnet' for Queensland

Health

A state-of-the-art private hospital planned for Queensland's City of Logan is expected to attract some of medicine’s best and brightest.

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A $150 million private hospital, earmarked for one of South East Queensland’s fastest growing cities, is promising to attract “specialist talent” to cater for a rising demand in medical services.

Meadowbrook’s health and wellbeing precinct in Logan is fast becoming a destination for investment and provision of health and medical services.

Australian Unity lodged development plans with Logan City Council to build the hospital opposite the existing Logan Hospital.

The proposed Matilda Meadowbrook Private Hospital will be completed in stages, with the initial phase including up to 90 inpatient beds.

That would increase to 160 upon completion, with nine surgical theatres, 60 consulting rooms, onsite pathology and a large imaging centre.

The hospital is expected to create 250 jobs during construction and 500 once it’s fully operational.

Developers anticipate planning approval before the end of the year, with work to get underway at the site early next year.

Matilda Health Care will operate the hospital under a 30-year lease once the building is completed in 2025.

Matilda Health Care managing director Harry Pannu said the hospital would be a game-changer for the City of Logan.

“This brings numerous amounts of benefits to the local residents,” he said.

“There will be a lot more medical beds, there’s a lot more services there and these are not just in-patient services but community-based services and outpatient services.

“Logan traditionally hasn’t had these kind of facilities across the public system, and it’s definitely time.”

The population of the local council area is expected to double to 500,000 by 2036.

Pannu says with ageing population and rising rates of chronic disease, there is already high demand for health infrastructure.

“By having a facility such as ours, it actually helps attract a lot of specialist talent which Logan desperately needs,” Pannu said.

“Traditionally, Logan has struggled to fill those posts because there wasn’t this opportunity for them to have this one-stop-shop to provide these comprehensive services and these career path-ways.”

He said the new hospital would work in tandem with the existing public hospital.

“What a precinct like this actually does is it allows clinicians a very attractive area to move to build up their practice,” Pannu said.

“All of a sudden they’ve now got a public consultation post but they just have to walk across the road and they’ve got their private practice.

“Clinicians would prefer a set up like that because you don’t want to work in a public hospital and then drive an hour to your private clinic.”

Matilda Health Care runs two other private hospitals, but this is the first in Queensland.

The hospital will form part of a Meadowbrook Health Hub being built across the 1.6 ha site, which will eventually boast shops, a hotel and a childcare centre.

Australian Unity’s healthcare property general manager Chris Smith said the hospital would be a win for the community and investors.

The mutual company’s healthcare property trust is involved in about 22 health and aged care facilities in Queensland.

“The land parcel that’s available allows us to grow into the future as well, so we’re not really land-locked and grow the facility,” Smith said.

“Not all the needs are being met in Logan because there’s currently no private hospital there.

“The other thing that makes it stronger is if you have a co-located private hospital and a public hospital, you tend to attract a broader surgeon base as well.

“A lot of surgeons would like to practice in both the public and the private and split their time, and then the public sector can then use that to attract surgeons.”

More than 30,000 square metres of private health, medical and related services are expected to be delivered across the city in the short to medium-term.

This includes new clinics for specialist services now under construction in Council’s dedicated health and well-being precinct in Meadowbrook. This includes the new Meadowbrook Medical Centre, run by UQ Health Care, and a planned minor injury and illness (urgent care) facility.

City of Logan Mayor Darren Power welcomed the plans, saying it would be “help address a huge demand for health services in our city”.

“A new private hospital will attract doctors, nurses, specialists and health operators while also creating new local jobs,” he said.

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