Expansion and redevelopment of Launceston General Hospital’s paediatric ward 4K will begin this month.
Health Minister Michael Ferguson announced the construction tender for the $10.2 million, 36-bed redevelopment would go to Tasmanian construction firm Fairbrother on Monday.
Construction of the redeveloped and expanded ward is expected to begin later this month with the completion expected in mid-2019.
Mr Ferguson said the government was proud to be able to bring this infrastructure to Northern health patients, because it would be the first time the service has been delivered.
“Once open, it will be the first time ever that Tasmanians have had access to specialist paediatric inpatient mental health facilities,” he said.
Adolescent and young people who need hospitalisation for mental health have not had their own ward in the past, but have been housed either in the childrens’ ward or in the adult mental health ward.
Mr Ferguson acknowledged this was a “service gap” that aimed to be filled with the redeveloped ward.
The ward will become part of the Launceston General Hospital’s proposed womens and children precinct.
The existing ward 4K is 30 years old and was described by Mr Ferguson as “much loved” but also “tired” infrastructure.
“I’m very pleased to say we [the government] has future-proofed this tender; we deliberately designed it to take into account future growth needs for bed occupancy,” he said.
“The government is getting on with the job with implementing our positive plans for health.”
Initial shell works to facilitate the proposed womens and childrens precinct will also be undertaken.