John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct capacity

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Capacity constraints and opportunity for new services
Priority Initiative
Location
Newcastle, NSW
Geography
Smaller cities and regional centres
Category
Social Infrastructure
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Longer term (10-15 years)
Proposed By
NSW Government
Date added to the IPL
26 February 2020

Problem

The John Hunter Health Campus in Newcastle faces significant capacity constraints, with its average occupancy at 98%, compared with the usual benchmark of 85%.

The existing infrastructure is not suited for delivering contemporary and future digitally-enabled models of care. For example, operating theatres are undersized against current standards, limiting their ability to accommodate new technology and equipment.

The John Hunter Health Campus also has one of the busiest emergency departments in New South Wales. In 2018, the emergency department served over 81,000 presentations in a space originally designed for 47,000.

The 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit recognises that the growing population and demand for health services is placing pressure on existing health infrastructure.

Proposed initiative

Potential options to address the problem include optimising the current facilities and operations alongside major upgrades or redevelopment of the campus.

There is also an opportunity to better integrate health, education, research and community services and infrastructure within the Newcastle Health and Innovation Precinct.

Next steps

Proponent to identify initiatives and develop options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).