New northside hospital
24 May 2023
HCCA is pleased at the announcement that a new northside hospital is to be built. This is a significant and necessary investment in our public health system and one that is needed to meet the needs of our growing community.
The new hospital will almost double the bed capacity of the current hospital and provide a state-of-the-art public hospital providing safe, high quality care. It is an opportunity to build a centre of excellence which enhances patient care, with a supportive environment for families.
The decision to build this new hospital on the Calvary Campus provides multiple advantages for northside community residents:
- the northside is the fastest growing area in Canberra and home to many young families who will have better access to paediatric, maternity, and adult health services, closer to home
- the site is close to major arterial roads providing rapid access to Belconnen, Gungahlin and inner north residents and which will enhance public transport access to the hospital
- the northside hospital will be co-located adjacent to Calvary Private Hospital and specialist consulting rooms
- the bushland setting will carry forward the Calvary ideal of a healing environment where patients are able to see the bushland and hear the sounds of the bush
- there is scope to provide adequate parking for patients, visitors and staff and plan for ease of physical access to hospital services (from the carpark)
- families whose loved ones have an extended stay will have convenient access to shops, as the site is close to Belconnen Mall and Jamison Centre.
The hospital’s close proximity to the Faculty of Health Sciences at University of Canberra, Australian National University and Australian Catholic University provides opportunities for the education and training of the future health workforce. Student clinical placements in a state-of-the-art public hospital will build the capacity of our future health care workforce so they can contribute to quality patient care.
The Government’s decision to acquire the land for the new northside hospital and end the Calvary Network Agreement is a significant change for the ACT health system. HCCA acknowledges this is a controversial decision for some sectors of the Canberra community. At HCCA, our focus is on ensuring a smooth transition and maintaining the quality and safety of health care for consumers. We can see merging two different hospitals will be challenging. HCCA is prepared to assist in any way it can with this merger.
Calvary Public Hospital has been the local hospital for many Canberrans for over 40 years. We recognise that Canberrans will have a strong attachment to the hospital campus; babies have been born, friends and family have received treatment and care at Calvary Public Hospital.
The growing health care needs of the northside community mean that the current hospital is no longer adequate for the Territory’s needs. Even without a change of provider there would need to be significant changes to the hospital. It will be a bigger and busier place, with an increased range of services and more staff. It is vital to maintain a culture of care to ensure consumers, carers and families get the care they need.
We know that this is an unsettling time for Calvary staff. We encourage all parties involved in managing the transition to work together to make sure that staff are looked after during this process. Consumers cannot get high quality, safe care if the workforce are not well supported in their work.
We also encourage the transition team to ensure that consumers are kept informed about developments and that their ongoing care will not be disrupted during the transition phase and in the longer term. At HCCA, our focus is on ensuring a smooth transition and maintaining the quality and safety of health care for consumers.
The new hospital is an exciting opportunity to meet the needs of our growing city.
Authorised by: Linda Trompf, President, on behalf of the HCCA Executive Committee