Historic hospital opens $72m birthday present

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It opened as a military hospital in February 1942 during World War Two, taking in 35 patients as fighting in the Pacific theatre reached Australia’s shores.

Eight decades later, Greenslopes Private Hospital is Queensland’s largest private healthcare facility – this year celebrating its 80th anniversary with the opening of a $72 million expansion.

First announced in 2020, the now-completed project will help the Brisbane hospital to keep pace with rising demand for healthcare services in the community it has served so long.

It features a redeveloped three-story infill building offering new rooms for day surgery procedures, additional operating theatres and an expanded intensive care unit. 

There are 64 private ensuite rooms in a new two-storey building, while the refurbished emergency department has seven additional beds and now offers patients more space and privacy.

“With this expansion we now have 22 operating theatres including a hybrid theatre equipped with medical imaging equipment, enabling both open and minimally-invasive procedures,” Greenslopes Private Hospital CEO Chris Went said. 

“There is currently a high demand for inpatient beds, and with both the expansion of the emergency department and the additional operating theatres, the 64 new beds will allow us to service this increased capacity,” she added.

Initially known as the 112th Australian General Hospital, then Repatriation General Hospital after the war, it was sold to private operator Ramsay Health Care in 1995 and given its present name the following year.

Based in the city’s southside, the hospital now employs around 2,500 staff and admits about 91,500 patients each year, contributing $200 million annually to the local economy.

Ms Went said Greenslopes Private had retained its strong military ties, embracing the work of its ‘Diggers Dozen’ volunteers – whose title is a tribute to the soldiers the hospital cared for.

“Since 1990 they have dedicated so much time to volunteering to help our patients and our community,” Ms Went said. 

“The Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation is also based here. Greenslopes Private provides in-kind support allowing them to invest every cent donated to them into supporting current and ex-serving Australia Defence Force personnel, their families and the Australian community through medical research.” 

Greenslopes has also been a teaching hospital since 1970, when it teamed up with the University of Queensland, and is now Australia’s largest private healthcare education facility, with a clinical school on campus. 

“While we don’t receive the same government grants as public hospitals to undertake this teaching, we feel it’s an important service we can offer our community and helps prepare us for generations to come,” Ms Went said.  

Read more: New theatre, new milestone for Greenslopes Private Hospital

Read more: $72M plan to meet growing demand at Greenslopes

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