New 45-bed sub-acute health facility opens in Cairns

Published Friday, 10 March, 2023 at 11:00 AM


Minister for Health and Ambulance Services
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry Development
Mr Michael Healy

  • The 45-bed Sub-acute Expansion project announced for Cairns in last year’s Queensland Health and Hospitals Plan has opened.
  • The 45-beds are being delivered through an agreement with Infinite Care to expand Cairns Hospital’s Older Persons Sub-Acute and Rehabilitation (OPSAR) Unit.
  • Patients requiring sub-acute care and rehabilitation will be treated at a purpose-built facility in a tranquil part of Cairns – the Edge Hill Orchards Lodge on Oregon Street.

In addition to this 45-bed Sub-acute Expansion project, the Palaszczuk Government also committed $250 million for the Cairns Hospital Expansion project in last year’s Queensland Health and Hospitals Plan.

The Cairns Hospital Expansion project will deliver 96 additional beds by the first half of 2026 through a new state-of-the-art surgical centre with 32 beds, and a major refurbishment of the hospital that will provide 64 additional beds.

Quotes attributable to Minister D’Ath:

“These 45 new beds will help tackle the ever-growing demand for health services throughout the region.

“We announced this 45-bed Sub-acute Expansion project in last year’s Queensland Health and Hospitals Plan and said it would be operational by the second half of 2023, and I’m delighted that it has now already opened.

“This new facility is nestled in a convenient and tranquil location, only 4.5km from Cairns Hospital.

“It is in a great location for patients and staff, in a beautiful environment away from the hustle and bustle of the hospital, but still close enough if patients require any emergency care.”

Quotes attributable to OPSAR Unit Clinical Director, Dr Edward Strivens:

“The facility at Oregon Street is perfect for providing care to older persons and those requiring rehabilitation.

“It is an enabling environment for both rehabilitation and the care of people living with dementia.

“It has the full support of an interprofessional team of nurses, allied health professionals and specialist doctors on site covering the facility 24/7.

“The ward is fully integrated with our sub-acute services across the care continuum – at home and in Residential Aged Care Facilities, in the emergency department and the acute hospital, as well as with supports following discharge such as our transition care program and community health services.”

Quotes attributable to Infinite Care’s Founders and Joint Managing Directors, Chris Stride and Tony Partridge:

“We are excited to enhance our relationship with the Cairns and Hinterland HHS by providing additional facilities at Infinite Care Edge Hill.

“Relationships of this nature only enhance the ability of Infinite Care to provide outstanding care to our residents.

“The operation of the Lodge has created additional employment opportunities for those in the local community.

“We aspire to be an employer of choice in the Cairns community.”

Quotes attributable to Michael Healy, Member for Cairns:

“This is just one of many exciting health projects we’re delivering in Cairns, which also include our $250 million Cairns Hospital Expansion that will deliver 96 additional beds.

“We also have work underway on the $70 million Mental Health Unit and the $26.4 million Emergency Department Expansion.

“As well as expanding local health services, these projects will also provide a boost for local businesses and jobs, together creating around 900 jobs during construction.

“These projects are all part of the Palaszczuk Government’s plan to deliver expanded health services and good jobs for our region, as more and more people enjoy our great lifestyle.”

Background / Further information:

Health infrastructure projects currently underway in Cairns include:

  • $250 million Cairns Hospital Expansion that will deliver 96 additional beds (announced last year in the Queensland Health and Hospitals Plan), which includes:
    • state-of-the-art new surgical centre that will provide 32 beds
    • major refurbishment of the hospital that will provide 64 additional beds and ensure a modern fit-for-purpose space to care for acute surgical and medical patients
  • $70 million Cairns Hospital Mental Health Unit, which will provide 53 beds for adult acute mental health inpatients
  • $26.4 million Cairns Hospital Emergency Department Expansion
  • $11.5 million drug residential rehabilitation and treatment service with 10 beds for youth in Cairns.

The Palaszczuk Government has also provided $4.65 million for the detailed business case for the Cairns Health and Innovation Centre to progress detailed planning for this future project, with the business case expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The Palaszczuk Government increased the operational funding for Cairns and Hinterland HHS to a record $1.18 billion in 2022-23, an increase of 9 per cent on the previous year.

Since coming to government, the Palaszczuk Government has increased Cairns and Hinterland HHS’s operational funding by 77 per cent, compared to the LNP’s last Budget.