Less than three weeks since Tasmania's new cabinet was sworn in the refreshed state government has delivered on its promise to prioritise a co-located hospital in Launceston.
A Memorandum of Understanding with Calvary Health Care has been signed by the Premier and Health Minister.
The agreement would allow for the development of Calvary's proposed $120 million co-located private hospital, adjacent to the Launceston General Hospital.
The unsolicited bid for the new hospital was put forward by Calvary three years ago and had been sitting with the Coordinator-General's office for two years.
As part of their election campaign, the Liberal Party promised to sign an MOU within 30 days of being sworn in as a majority government.
And Premier Peter Gutwein has since kept that promise, signing the paperwork on Tuesday afternoon.
He said the development would not only make the region a more attractive employment location for health professionals and specialists, but would also create 1400 direct and indirect jobs across the building and construction sector.
"The Tasmanian Liberal government will work with Calvary to ensure the project takes into account the needs of public and private patients and staff and will deliver a complementary mix of services to the LGH," Mr Gutwein said.
The state government would now finalise the sale of the land in Frankland Street to Calvary, with an official agreement that it must be used to deliver health services.
Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff said there would also be an agreement to deliver a covered walkway bridge to connect the two hospitals, and construction of the new hospital would need to commence within two years of a development application being approved.
"Co-located private and public hospitals have been extremely successful and beneficial to communities across Australia, and we know they can help attract and help to retain difficult to recruit specialists to our healthcare system," Mr Rockliff said.
The proposal would see the existing Calvary St Luke's and Calvary St Vincent's Hospitals replaced with the new facility at the Frankland Street site.
Calvary Health Care's national Chief Executive Officer Martin Bowles AO PSM said the not-for-profit organisation had "a vision to advance the health of communities in Northern Tasmania".
"We are confident that a co-located Calvary private hospital will add to Tasmania's overall health capacity, not only in providing for the day-to-day health needs of the community but also in times of heightened demand," he said.
"The MOU allows the benefit of closer collaboration with government to leverage our combined expertise and inform new models of care, clinical leadership, and the delivery of value-based health care.
"We thank our clinicians and staff for their contribution to the detailed planning. Our design is guided by changes in clinical practice and patient expectations. During the project, the support of our specialist doctors and our staff will be instrumental in making sure our new hospital is fit for purpose now and into the future."
The MOU signing comes less than two weeks after the Launceston General Hospital draft masterplan was released for public consultation - three years after it was committed to by the Liberal Party during the 2018 election.
The state government committed to $580 million in funding for the redevelopment, over 10 years.
The plan included a new mental health services precinct, a new coronary care unit, and a new inpatient unit purpose-built and designed for the care of older people, among other developments.
The project was expected to create 6960 direct and indirect jobs.
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