$2.5M training facility to attract health students to SW
CHARLEVILLE'S $2.5 million state-of-the-art health training facility is not only boosting the local economy but is also expected to attract health care students to the south west region.
Local contractor, McNab have made rapid progress with the Southern Queensland Rural Health (SQRH) Charleville main training site, completing foundations, flooring and wall placement since early March.
SQRH Director Associate Professor Geoff Argus, who attended project meetings in Charleville on April 27, said it was exciting to see the building taking shape and numerous local sub-contractors working together on the state-of-the-art teaching and training facility.
"It is definitely the first of its kind in the south west," he said.
"Our SQRH team will work from the facility supporting nursing, midwifery and allied health students in their rural and remote placements," he said.
"It is key that students have experiences in rural and remote healthcare - not only do they gain diverse and valuable experience but they also learn about rural communities and rural life which can act as a huge drawcard to taking up a career as a rural health professional."
The $2.5 million build is located on the Charleville Hospital grounds and will contain a clinical education simulation room, tutorial rooms, lecture rooms, consulting rooms and telehealth studios.
A/Prof Argus said it was pleasing to see that McNab have hired a majority of local contractors including carpenters, structural steel, electrical, civil works, air conditioning and plumbing.
"As the project progresses this will increase to incorporate labourers, roofers and other trades," he said.
"One of our stipulations from the beginning was that the successful contractor needed to be local, and use local wherever else possible.
"We really wanted to tap into rural Queensland and make sure we were benefiting the whole community."
A/Prof Argus said it's great to see that the project has not been hampered by the Coronavirus. "McNab have been very proactive with new procedures such as infection control via a special antiseptic used on site regularly and social distancing rules followed," he said.
"While there have been many worldwide disruptions due to the virus, McNab's extensive preplanning and detailed procurement has meant we have been spared interruption to our project with no delays in delivery of materials or equipment and local sub-contractors continuing with work schedules.
A/Prof Argus said with the contractors a couple of weeks ahead of schedule, the project is looking to be completed by mid September, ready for use by the 2021 students.
A/Prof Argus again acknowledged the South West Hospital and Health Service for their ongoing support of SQRH and for allocating land at the Charleville Hospital as the site for our training facility.
"We look forward to welcoming the south west community to our new training site at the end of the year," he said.