Redland Hospital to get water birthing facilities as part of a $1.73 million upgrade

PLANS: Kane Construction contract administrator Jodie Lucas talks to Springwood MP Mick de Brenni, Health Minister Steven Miles, Redlands MP Kim Richards and Capalaba MP Don Brown about upgrades at Redland Hospital. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough
PLANS: Kane Construction contract administrator Jodie Lucas talks to Springwood MP Mick de Brenni, Health Minister Steven Miles, Redlands MP Kim Richards and Capalaba MP Don Brown about upgrades at Redland Hospital. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

REDLAND Hospital will have three birthing pools and an extra birthing suite next year, in a move that Health Minister Steven Miles says is proof that the state government is investing heavily in the facility.

Construction will be under way by the end of the month as part of expansion works already in progress in the emergency department.

But federal MP Andrew Laming - who has been embroiled in a debate with the Labor government over hospital funding for years - said the upgrade was "a trip to the hardware store".

"In a hospital with a $1 billion annual budget, this $1.7 million Labor upgrade is a complete joke and embarrassment," he said.

Redlands MP Kim Richards said the pools would be a big win for local families who had to travel out of the region to access water birthing.

HOSPITAL TOUR: New parents Archie and Tinneke Schreiber, of Mount Cotton, with baby Danike who was born at Redland Hospital on Monday, chat to Springwood MP Mick de Brenni, Redlands MP Kim Richards and Health Minister Steven Miles. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

HOSPITAL TOUR: New parents Archie and Tinneke Schreiber, of Mount Cotton, with baby Danike who was born at Redland Hospital on Monday, chat to Springwood MP Mick de Brenni, Redlands MP Kim Richards and Health Minister Steven Miles. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

"Around 1800 babies are born at Redland Hospital each year and the new birthing suite will not only increase our capacity but also give mothers more options when they give birth," Ms Richards said.

Springwood MP Mick de Brenni said the emergency department expansion - increasing beds from 10 to 14 - would open early next year. Birthing facilities would be finished by December 23, with the suites operating by the middle of next year.

Mr de Brenni said the expansion would ease pressure on the department.

"Demand for healthcare services across the region continues to grow, with admission to Redland Hospital increasing by 8.6 per cent each year over the past five years," he said. "This expansion will ... (provide) a much needed boost to local healthcare services."

Mr Miles said the works, the business case to determine the best site for a multi-storey car park and the preliminary business case for a bigger redevelopment were signals that the government intended to invest heavily in the hospital.

Mr Laming said data showed Labor had ripped $57 million out of the Metro South Health budget, while Commonwealth funding - determined by a formula and based on activity - had increased.

"The money taken out of the hospital is three times bigger than the total extra money the Labor government have put into the TAFE, rail, roads and the hospital in the Redlands," he said.

VISIT: Springwood MP Mick de Brenni, Redlands MP Kim Richards and Capalaba MP Don Brown at Redland Hospital. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

VISIT: Springwood MP Mick de Brenni, Redlands MP Kim Richards and Capalaba MP Don Brown at Redland Hospital. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

Mr Miles said that Mr Laming had been an MP for 16 years but was not good at delivering for his community.

"We could do more with more support from the federal government," Mr Miles said. "Unfortunately they've just continued to cut the amount they contribute to hospitals around the state including at Redlands. If they hadn't done that we would be able to do more.

"The $1.73 million expansion at Redland Hospital is only possible thanks to Metro South's record funding, with the 2019-20 budget delivering annual funding of $2.5 billion, an increase of $157.4 million.

Capalaba MP Don Brown said Mr Laming should bring forward the spending of $30 million promised ahead of the federal government election earlier this year.

"His own promise of $30 million that he made at the last election we've found out isn't even coming before his next election," Mr Brown said.

Mr Laming said the state was looking for reasons not to start hospital projects.

"It doesn't matter when the Commonwealth hands the money over, the state should be building all of this now because the money is guaranteed," he said.

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