The $19.8 million stage two expansion of the IWC Health & Wellbeing Complex has officially opened and is set to deliver increased and innovative medical services.
The impressive new building is wrapped with 11 screens that provide a pictorial representation of the region’s Traditional Owner stories.
New features include an accessible gymnasium with steam rooms, Turkish baths and massage chairs, expansion of allied health services and a pair of innovative isolation suites.
Stage two significantly increases the footprint of the complex measuring 4816 sqm over two storeys compared to the 2787 sqm floor area of the award winning first stage, opened in 2014.
IWC Director Aunty Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian said the opening of IWC stage two would expand medical services available in the region.
“This is the fulfilment of a dream for this community, not just for Aboriginal people, but for this whole community,” Aunty Cheri said.
“In the second stage we’ve been able to open up and prepare for more doctors to come, more dentists to come, more allied health professionals to come with their services and give it back to our community.”
She said the integrated health service would offer greater convenience for all residents with doctors, physio therapists, dieticians, a pathology and a chemist – just to name a few – all available from the one facility.
“I really do believe that two to three years down the track Bundaberg city is going to be a healthier city, its citizens are going to be healthier because they’ve got a facility that they can actually attend now that’s not too far away.
“Whatever health service there is available we can provide it.”
Mayor Jack Dempsey congratulated IWC staff and directors on the opening of stage two which he said was a “magnificent result” for the Bundaberg Region community.
“It’s fitting the Deputy Prime Minister is here today to see first-hand your vision being realised through determination, persistence and commitment,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“This organisation was born with a primary focus to improve all aspects of local Indigenous peoples’ lifestyle, health and wellbeing by offering services designed to provide greater opportunities for equity and equality.
“Completion of this project will increase the range of services currently offered by IWC to the whole community, including more allied health professionals and specialists.”
He commended IWC on its foresight in catering to potential emergencies in the region with the stage two expansion complementing the Multiplex, designed to act as an evacuation centre.
“As chairman of the Local Disaster Management Group, I greatly appreciate the stage two development also incorporates major innovations that will assist the community in times of disaster or contagious outbreak.
“These innovations include a substantial generator with a six-cylinder diesel engine that will keep the purpose-built health and wellbeing facility operating when the power is off.
“This can be the community care and medical hub that will be needed in a time of emergency.”
IWC General Manager Wayne Mulvany said there was no doubt an extension of the facilities' medical services was required.
“We already service over 13,000 clients a year, we provide more than 107,000 episodes of care a year,” Wayne said.
“We are bursting at the seams as it is.”
He said IWC had been “waiting a good four years” for stage two to be opened with exciting new facilities incorporated.
“We’ve also put in the building a specialised rehabilitation gymnasium which is a first for the region.”
IWC stage two services are set to open incrementally over coming months.
The stage two expansion of IWC received funding from the Australian Government Building Better Regions Fund.
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