Gold Coast residents have an opportunity to get a first glimpse of their new $1.55 billion tertiary hospital, with Premier Anna Bligh unveiling the designs today.
Ms Bligh encouraged residents to visit a community expo - to be held today and tomorrow at the Sharks Southport AFL Club - to see for themselves what the future holds for health services on the Gold Coast.
"The detailed plans and virtual tour of the new Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH) illustrate just how significant and exciting this project is," Ms Bligh said.
"It will be around four-times the size of the current Gold Coast Hospital and include a range of expanded services including cancer, cardiac, neurosciences, trauma and neo-natal intensive care.
"It will have 750 beds, almost 300 more than the current hospital and importantly - it has room to grow as the demand for services in the region increases over time.
"This is about delivering to the people of the Gold Coast a world-class health facility that will offer the high standard of services they deserve," she said.
Ms Bligh said the new hospital also meant more jobs for the area.
"Up to 2,500 people are expected to be employed at the peak of construction of this facility, and the workforce within the new hospital is expected to be twice that.
"As a training hospital, the GCUH will also enhance the medical education and training offered by facilities like Griffith and Bond Universities, the new Queensland Academy for Health Sciences and TAFE Queensland - making it a breeding ground for Queensland's doctors and nurses of tomorrow," she said.
Health Minister Stephen Robertson said construction was expected to start in mid 2009, with completion in 2012.
"I want to thank the hundreds of people including specialists, nurses, allied health staff, support staff, local health consumers, architects and other design consultants who have been working tirelessly over the past 18 months to ensure the new hospital will be the best it can be to meet the needs of the local community," Mr Robertson said.
"It is the Gold Coast community that will benefit and I urge all interested residents to visit the expo and experience the future of Gold Coast health services for themselves.
"It's a great opportunity for the local community to speak directly with the designers, planners and health professionals about the design of the new facility and how it will meet local health needs," he said.