New Mater maternity unit delivers care to Townsville families
North Queensland families could soon have their babies in a brand new maternity unit with Mater proposing to build a new service at its Pimlico hospital campus in Townsville.
The proposed maternity unit, with an estimated cost of more than $29 million, would be a purpose-built facility at Mater Private Hospital Townsville (MPHT), delivering contemporary obstetric healthcare to the growing number of families having babies across North Queensland.
Mater Chief Executive and former neonatologist Dr Peter Steer said there had been a 10 per cent increase in child births at Mater’s existing Hyde Park maternity service over the past year, rising from 564 in 2020-21 to 621 in 2021-22.
Dr Steer said further growth was expected and a new maternity unit at Pimlico, to be located on the corner of Lothair and Diprose Streets, would provide direct access to the hospital’s acute care services.
As Australia’s largest maternity services provider, Mater remains committed to continuing to deliver exceptional maternity care across Queensland both now and into the future.Dr Peter Steer, Mater Group Chief Executive
“A purpose-built unit would enable Mater to offer North Queensland families a range of new and contemporary models of care, delivered by a team of highly skilled maternity and obstetric health practitioners.”
MPHT Executive Officer and former midwife Stephanie Barwick said the proposed new maternity unit would provide 18 in-patient beds, four dedicated birthing suites and a Special Care Nursery with eight cots where babies who required additional support after birth could stay close to mum while receiving care.
We want to build a modern maternity ward designed to deliver contemporary, comprehensive care including antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal services for women and babies up to six weeks after birth.Stephanie Barwick, Interim Executive Officer
The proposed new service, pending funding, would also offer outdoor areas for patients, a parent lounge and a dedicated parenting centre.
Ms Barwick said Mater’s existing Hyde Park services would remain operational until the proposed new maternity service was completed.
“Mater has been providing maternity services in Townsville from its Hyde Park facility since 2007,” Ms Barwick said.
“Having invested more than $70 million in recent years to expand and upgrade the Pimlico campus, including the development of the Mercy Centre day surgery and the recent completion of the six-storey undercover car park, it is time to look at relocating our maternity services from Hyde Park.
“Having all of our hospital and healthcare services on a single site at Pimlico would improve convenience and accessibility for doctors and patients, as well as enhance efficiencies for Mater in delivery of care.”
Dr Steer said Mater had been delivering high quality care to the people of North Queensland since 1945 when the Sisters of Mercy opened a hospital at West End.
“Since then, Mater has remained steadfast in planning for the future to ensure people living across North Queensland have access to world-class healthcare services,” he said.
“Mater’s capital development at Pimlico as well as the $2m investment in recent years in state-of-the-art surgical robots demonstrate our commitment to the future care of people in this region.
“In addition, Mater Education began offering its Diploma of Nursing courses in Townsville in 2020 to grow and train a local healthcare workforce for the future.”
He said new facilities, technologies and education services reduced the need for patients, healthcare staff and students to leave the region for care or qualifications.
“Townsville is already the healthcare hub of Northern Australia and Mater is committed to ensuring it retains this title well into the future,” he said.
For more information on Future Townsville 2040, visit futuretownsville2023.splashthat.com.