25 September 2023

Hospital’s SPIRE aspires to be bigger

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Canberra Hospital’s new Surgical Procedures, Interventional Radiology and Emergency Centre (SPIRE) is to be bigger than originally planned under new arrangements announced by the Chief Minister, Andrew Barr and Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Meegan Fitzharris.

The Ministers said the SPIRE Centre will now have 114 Emergency Department treatment spaces — 39 more than are currently available at the Canberra Hospital, as well as 60 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds, doubling the number currently available.

They said SPIRE will include four new paediatric ICU beds and a family zone to provide support services for families with children in the ICU.

It will also have 22 state-of-the-art operating theatres, nine more than are currently available, including hybrid theatres and interventional radiology theatres that will support the most advanced medical technology and techniques in caring for Canberrans.

Mr Barr said the delivery of SPIRE formed part of a plan to future-proof Canberra’s healthcare system to meet continuing growth in demand for high quality, free public healthcare.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Meegan Fitzharris said the original scope of the SPIRE Centre was expanded following consultations with the clinical workforce.

“The SPIRE Centre will be bigger and better than first planned and will provide the best outcomes for our community and for our current and future health workforce,” Ms Fitzharris said.

“Many of the key aspects of SPIRE have been boosted, with this state-of-the-art critical care and surgical facility able to meet the acute healthcare needs of our growing and ageing community well into the future.”

She said SPIRE would be complemented by a new Australian National University (ANU) building that would boost the teaching, training and research presence on the Canberra Hospital campus.

“This investment by the ANU means Canberra and the SPIRE Centre will be very attractive to the best and brightest students and clinicians nationally and internationally who want to do their medical training and research in a modern, state-of-the-art facility,” Ms Fitzharris said.

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