Construction commences on two new healthcare facilities in the Darling Downs

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Chief Executive, Annette Scott and Board Chair, Mike Horan with Darling Downs Health staff and FKG Executive Chairman, Gary Gardner at the Millmerran Multipurpose Health Service Facility

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Ground has officially broken on the new $22.6 million Tara Hospital and the new $28.5 million Millmerran Multipurpose Health Service Facility.

Health Service Chief Executive, Annette Scott PSM was on-site to mark the occasion and said it’s a momentous time for public healthcare across the Darling Downs.

“These rural healthcare facilities are the heart of their communities, with locals relying on our extremely capable teams to provide high-quality care through every stage of their life.

Health Service Chief Executive, Annette Scott PSM

“While we care for patients today, we must continue to plan for the future and that means generational infrastructure investment.

“The existing facilities have served their communities well, but to meet the growing needs of both Tara and Millmerran, it’s time for an upgrade,” Ms Scott said.

The $22.6 million Tara Hospital will be situated on the existing hospital campus, replacing the current facility with a modern single storey building.

Once complete, the new hospital will boast a range of services including emergency care, palliative care, a 12-bed inpatient unit, and comprehensive adult mental health, clinical and outreach services.

The $28.5 million Millmerran Multipurpose Health Service will bring a new single storey building to the existing site, replacing the current multipurpose health service.

Upon completion, the new facility will provide the community with a contemporary building that supports a wide range of healthcare services including an eight-bed inpatient unit, five-bed residential aged care space, dedicated acute and non-acute areas and a new helipad.

Darling Downs Heath Executive Director Rural, Dr Chris Cowling said both facilities are due for completion by mid-2025.

“Once complete, the two facilities will improve access, functionality, and the quality care for residents in the immediate area.

“Most importantly, construction will not impact services at the existing facilities. I want to assure the community both the current Tara Hospital and Millmerran Multipurpose Health Service will remain open to the public, with our staff continuing to provide high-level care,” Dr Cowling said.

Darling Downs Health is Queensland Health’s largest provider of rural health services with 17 rural hospitals including four multi-purpose health services and six residential aged care facilities across the health service.

With several generational public healthcare projects including the new Toowoomba Hospital underway across the Darling Downs, Board Chair Mike Horan AM said the upgrades to facilities and services will support the broader region for decades to come.

“I would like to acknowledge the significant recent capital investments into Darling Downs Health. I’m confident the Health Service has identified the correct priority areas for us to direct capital funding to, such as the Tara Hospital and Millmerran Multipurpose Health Service.

“I’m pleased that we’re investing in rural healthcare and rebuilding and improving some of these facilities for the benefit of our communities. The Tara Hospital and Millmerran Multipurpose Health Service projects follow the recently constructed Kingaroy Hospital.

“It’s exciting to see these legacy projects commence across our Health Service, projects which have been diligently planned and pursued for many years by Darling Downs Health leadership,” Mr Horan said.

Hutchinson Builders will lead construction on the Tara Hospital project, while FK Gardner & Sons will lead construction on the Millmerran Multipurpose Health Service.

Both projects are funded by the State Governments $1.03 billion Building Rural and Remote Health Program.