PUSH: Mayor Tanya Milligan believes the Lockyer Valley needs a bigger hospital.
PUSH: Mayor Tanya Milligan believes the Lockyer Valley needs a bigger hospital. Lachlan McIvor

Plans for a new hospital in the works

A REGIONAL-SIZED hospital will be built in the Lockyer Valley within the next 10 years, according to plans revealed by West Moreton Health.

If approved, the hospital will provide residents with access to a wider range of medical services.

The plan for the new facility comes after more than a year of pressure from Lockyer Valley mayor Tanya Milligan, who previously said women having to travel to either Toowoomba or Ipswich to give birth was unacceptable.

"With our population projection hovering around 63,000 in just over a decade from now, it's essential the State Government recognises this project as a priority for current and future Lockyer Valley residents,” she said.

Records show demand for medical help in the region is growing with 6000 more people in our emergency departments, 20,000 more outpatients, 150 more babies born and 500 more surgeries performed at West Moreton Health in 2017-18 compared to the year before.

While the Lockyer Valley population will have to continue to travel out of the region for a variety of medical assistance; according to the 15-year master plan, there will be an increase in access to care closer to home through services like telehealth.

West Moreton Health Chief Executive Dr Kerrie Freeman said providing extra assistance was a part of ensuring people of the Lockyer Valley were looked after.

"The plan also sets out the need for improvements to existing hospital services to maintain how they provide services over that 10-year period,” Mrs Freeman said.

The plan is part of the 15-year proposal which has seen the State Government has announce a $124.65m for redevelopment in Ipswich.