Date - 9 March 2020
The Southern Queensland Rural Health (SQRH) Charleville main training site began construction in March.
During an official turning of the first sod ceremony on March 9, Minister Littleproud described the new SQRH facility as the building blocks to grow the rural health workforce for the South West.
“This is great news for the South-West community because the nurse and health students who train here will be providing more services closer to home,” Mr Littleproud said.
“This hands-on experience for medical students will give them valuable knowledge and skills to deal with health challenges in the Bush and easy access to set up a career in a rural community.
“Boosting the rural health sector starts with giving better access to training in the Bush, developing the next generation of health professionals and I’m glad that Charleville and the South-West community are able to benefit from this," he said
SQRH Director Associate Professor Geoff Argus said the successful tender to construct the SQRH Charleville site is McNab Construction, with the company committing to employing as many local sub-contractors as possible. The project manager is Gripfast Consulting.
“Ever since SQRH was established in late 2017 it has been our mantra to buy local and employ local where possible. Our staff live and work in regional, rural and remote areas and we are determined to help strengthen these communities.
“The $2.5 million SQRH Charleville main training site will be constructed on the Charleville Hospital grounds and will contain a clinical education simulation room, tutorial rooms, lecture rooms, consulting rooms and telehealth studios.
“From the outset we have worked with SWHHS to negotiate the building location and also commissioned a Cultural Heritage report from the Bidjara people. We will have ongoing consultation as we progress with the project.
“We’re grateful to the South West Hospital and Health Service for their ongoing support of SQRH and for allocating land at the Charleville Hospital as the site for our training facility.
“We look forward to welcoming the South West community to our new training site and we’re particularly excited that nursing, midwifery, allied health and medical students will have a state-of-the-art facility as their base for learning and training.
“Once construction is complete, which is estimated to be the end of this year, our SQRH Charleville team will move from Parry Street to the new building,” he said.
SWHHS Chief Executive Ms Linda Patat said she looked forward to seeing the site being prepared and ready for construction.
“Working with SQRH is a key partnership in doing our part to help develop the next generation of rural health professionals and introduce them to the benefits and advantages of working in the bush,’’ she said.
“Once these students have done a placement or rotation in the South West, they may well be much more inclined to consider coming back and continuing their careers with our health service, or more broadly in rural health, in the future.
“This is extremely important as we build innovative models of healthcare for South West communities.
“It also contributes to our vision of leading rural and remote healthcare, through designing, attracting and retaining our future workforce,” she said.