UNDER CONSTRUCTION: The health hub at Kawana.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION: The health hub at Kawana. Contributed

Federal health minister hails our hospital

CASTING his eye over the new public hospital site at Kawana, Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton hailed it as "particularly impressive".

Member for Fisher Mal Brough played host to Mr Dutton yesterday, showing him around the burgeoning health hub.

First stop, the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital site.

"It's particularly impressive and if we look at the future job prospects, over 3000 people will be employed locally at the campus," Mr Dutton said.

"It's a huge multiplier for the Sunshine Coast economy.

"It will mean less people are travelling on the Bruce Hwy to Brisbane, it will mean greater services to people in regional centres like Bundaberg and I think it will be a great hub and win for the Sunshine Coast.

"The sooner it's built the better. It's a great plus for health services in Queensland."

Mr Brough expressed his vision for the Coast to be known as the "number one health and lifestyle community in Australia".

He said the way to achieve that was to ensure all potential players had a vested interest and that was part of the reason behind yesterday's visit.

"So many think tourism, while important, is the number one job employer,'' he said.

"It's not, it's health.

"We have the opportunity to grow that substantially."

Mr Dutton said the government looked at what public and private services would be offered on the Coast into the future.

"It's important for us to have a good mix between publicly and privately insured patients," he said.

"There is higher coverage of people who are privately insured on the Sunshine Coast.

"I want to make sure we continue to grow the number of people that we have privately insured in the country."

Mr Brough said he was also working with the Sunshine Coast Health Board, local health professionals and the Federal Government to find a replacement for the University of Queensland to take on the role of medical school at the new public hospital.

"It's not easy, but we all deserve and need to have a local medical school," he said.

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