$32m Friendlies expansion will secure healthy future

Friendlies Hospital expansion
The Friendlies stage six concept at the Crofton Street main entrance.

The $32 million stage six expansion of The Friendlies in Bundaberg will place it among the leading private hospitals in regional Australia.

As the health care needs of the community continue to increase, the Friendly Society Private Hospital is planning for the future.

CEO Alan Cooper said this new stage of development would complete The Friendlies current master plan for the hospital precinct.

“This next stage of expansion will further support the specialists The Friendlies has been actively recruiting over the past five years, focusing on our theatre and recovery areas to make sure our patients are comfortable, and our surgeons are supported in the procedures they want to do here,” Mr Cooper said.

“Our focus with any future plans is to expand and enhance the services we provide locally. If we can continue to increase the services offered at The Friendlies meaning Bundaberg Region residents don’t need to travel for healthcare, then we are achieving this goal.”

Works already completed as part of the new development include the purchase of Crofton Street (from the medical suites near Branyan Street through to Bingera Street), and the parking expansion on Woondooma Street, adding 36 new car parks, earlier this year.

The Friendlies will break ground on the next series of works early in the new year, to construct a road from the hospital laneway and carpark on Crofton Street, through to Electra Street.

These works will see the closure of the hospital-owned section of Crofton Street.

Friendlies hospital expansion
The Friendlies stage 6 concept from Bingera Street.

“Once the new road is complete, we will begin the new two-storey building, which will become the new main entrance to the hospital,” Mr Cooper said.

The new building will include the improved entrance as well as new drop-off and pick up areas for surgical patients and a larger theatre admissions and recovery area.

“We are also expanding the theatre complex with four new theatres taking our total to nine theatres, which is in addition to two new cath labs for cardiac and vascular procedures,” Mr Cooper said.

“On the first level we will have provision for a 30-bed unit, which will initially be a shell, but when operational, will increase The Friendlies to a 172-bed hospital.”

Stage six is expected to be completed by the end of 2021 and will create 45 construction jobs for up to two years.

These roles will be across construction, trades, technical and labouring.