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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Queensland’s premier hospital celebrates milestone


    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

    Queensland’s premier hospital celebrates milestone

    A major medical milestone is being celebrated, with the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital marking 150 years of caring for Queenslanders.  

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said almost every Queenslander had a special connection to Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

    “Whether you or a loved one has been treated here – there is probably not a family across the state that hasn’t benefited from the highly specialised care at RBWH,” the Premier said.

    “In times of peace and war, this great hospital has been instrumental in saving countless lives and has continually been at the forefront of pioneering medical research, education and training.”

    Ms Palaszczuk said back in 1867 a handful of doctors and eight nurses treated a few thousand patients in its first year, many of whom arrived by horse and cart.

    “150 years later and our 6,000 highly skilled staff care for well over half a million patients annually, many of whom arrive by ambulance or air to access the vital super specialised care now available,” she said.

    “RBWH is also affectionately known for its maternity services and over the last century, more than 500,000 babies have arrived safely into the world with some of the tiniest patients flown from all over Queensland to receive highly specialised neonatal care.

    “This nearly 1,000 bed hospital is also home to the largest adult burns centre in Australia and New Zealand with one of the best survival rates in the world caring for 450 critically ill patients each year.

    “When Queensland has been faced with adversity, RBWH has always been there to help from their involvement in the World Wars to the 2002 Bali Bombings, the Queensland floods and the Ravenshoe’s tragedy to name a few.”

    Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick said RBWH’s reach is far greater than its Herston residence with thousands of Queenslanders across Queensland connecting with specialists reducing the need to travel large distances away from home.

    “The hospital’s service to the community is immense and in 2016 alone, the busy Emergency Department team treated 76,000 patients, while 160,000 treatments, consultations and procedures were provided to patients suffering from cancer. Nearly 100 operations are also performed every day.”

    “Patients in rural and regional towns across Queensland are able to access specialist care via video link using our state of the art telehealth service no matter where they live.

    “There is so much to be proud about this hospital and this milestone is a wonderful opportunity to thank staff, past and present for the essential role they’ve played in serving Queenslanders.

    “There are also great opportunities ahead with work to soon commence on the Hospital’s Biofabrication Institute, which will see the manufacture of patient-specific tissue to replace or patch broken bones and cartilage and ultimately new organs for transplantation.

    The collaboration with Queensland University of Technology will catapult Queensland onto the global stage as a leader in medical innovation and technology that will change the face of healthcare.

    Both of these developments will see RBWH continue to strengthen its reputation as a unique, world-leading research, healthcare and education hub.”

    Member for Brisbane Central Grace Grace said RBWH was internationally renowned for its exceptional standard of health care.

    “RBWH has been delivering quality care for one and a half centuries and long may that continue,” Ms Grace said.

    Metro North Hospital and Health Service Board Chair Dr Robert Stable AM said RBWH provides exceptional health care for more than one tenth of all patient services in Queensland.

    “It’s often those we don’t hear about who are the true unsung heroes in our community and our staff are those people – they are the backbone of this hospital working around the clock helping those who need it the most,” Dr Stable said.

    “We have achieved so much in the past 150 years and we have so much to look forward too. It really is an exciting time to be caring for Queenslanders.”

    Executive Director of RBWH Dr Amanda Dines said 2017 will be a yearlong celebration as we reflect on RBWH’s humble beginnings to what is now a world leading hospital caring for the community.

    “All our staff, from doctors and nurses, allied health professionals, support staff as well as our volunteers each contribute in some way to the care of millions of Australians,” Dr Dines said.

    “Thanks to the amazing work of RBWH Foundation and the generosity of the community, $88.7 million has been donated to the hospital providing much needed hospital equipment and establishing services such as our milk bank which has fed more than 1000 premature babies.

    “From our staff to our supporters and valued university and research partners – thank you for making RBWH a truly wonderful place to work and being treated. I’m incredibly proud to be part of this great hospital as we celebrate our 150th anniversary.”

    Media Contact: 

    Premier's Office           Geoff Breusch         0417 272 875

    Minister Dick's Office    Michelle Wellington   0437 323 834


    • RBWH is Queensland’s largest hospital with almost 1000 bed capacity
    • RBWH employs 6000 highly-skilled multi-disciplinary staff
    • Half of the workforce are nurses with 3187 nurses and midwives
    • Since 1867, more than 500,000 babies have been born
    • In 1867, RBWH treated 581 inpatients and 4141 outpatients
    • In 1967, RBWH treated 31,572 inpatients and 403,115 outpatients
    • In 2016, RBWH provided more than 600,000 inpatient and outpatient services including:
    • 76,000 Emergency Department presentations
    • 160,000 cancer treatments, consultations and procedures
    • 25,500 surgical operations
    • 5000 babies were born
    • 1600 premature babies were admitted to Grantley Stable Neonatal Unit
    • 2500 trauma patients were treated
    • 450 burns patients were treated
    • 500 new arthritis patients
    • RBWH kitchen staff produce around 2600 patient meals each day (almost 1 million per year)
    • RBWH has Queensland’s only full-time hospital-based 3D printing lab and has been utilising 3D printing technology to guide surgery for two years
    • RBWH was the first Queensland hospital to actively recycle PVC waste from operating theatres, dramatically reducing the amount of medical waste sent to landfill each month
    • The RBWH Trauma Service runs the highly successful P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth) program and since launching in 2012 more than 3000 high school students have attended sessions at the hospital
    • The RBWH Foundation has raised $88.7 million since 2003