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UC Public Hospital cements construction milestone

Antony Perry

16 December 2016: It’s been hailed a groundbreaking project, and now the University of Canberra Public Hospital (UCPH) has a construction milestone to match its billing.

After 175,000 hours of labour, 13,500 cubic metres of concrete and 880 tonnes of reinforcing steel, the new hospital’s concrete structure is complete.

The milestone moment, commonly referred to as “topping out”, came on 15 December – nine months after construction began on Canberra’s third public hospital.

A ceremony to mark the occasion was held at the site, which is located on the north-western corner of the University’s Bruce campus.

Attendees included University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Professor Deep Saini, ACT Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris and members of the health and building industries.

Professor Saini said he looked forward to the opportunities the new hospital will create for students and the public, highlighting that the project is already providing members of the University community with valuable on-the-job training.

“Our students are already reaping the benefits of this partnership as some of our building and construction management students and graduates are helping build the hospital from the ground up,” Professor Saini said.

“Once completed, our healthcare students will be able to experience work in a clinical environment on campus, contributing to better patient interactions and enhanced health services for the community.

“It will also provide opportunities for staff and students to develop research for new evidence-based models of care. There is a lot to look forward to thanks to this groundbreaking project.”

The University has partnered with the ACT government to deliver the new 140-bed hospital, which will specialise in the provision of rehabilitation, aged care and mental health services.

The UCPH is part of a wider Health Precinct on campus. It will join the already operating Health Hub, which is home to Canberra’s only GP Super Clinic, operated by Ochre Health, and the University’s highly successful student-led clinics.

Ms Fitzharris said she was delighted to be working with the University to deliver the new hospital.

“There’s nothing quite like it around the country – a rehabilitation hospital located on a university campus," Ms Fitzharris said.

"[The UCPH] is part of the broader Health Precinct the University of Canberra is building which will deliver enormous health benefits, workforce benefits and research benefits for Canberra.”

With the main structure of the hospital complete, work in 2017 will focus on roofing, windows and facade, and the internal fit-out of walls and services. The UCPH will open to patients in 2018.