KINGAROY Hospital needs to be redeveloped or replaced, according to the chairman of the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service board.
Mike Horan has identified two departments in need of attention - the maternity ward and emergency department.
"Kingaroy is one of the busiest hospitals outside of the tertiary hospitals, including Toowoomba, Brisbane and Logan," he said.
He said the hospital had 450 births a year in its maternity ward. "So that's one of the urgent areas that needs to be addressed," he said.
And Mr Horan said the emergency department was "too crowded".
"It's got to be extended temporarily until the hospital can be redeveloped or rebuilt," he said.
"The resuscitation bay is next to the ambulance bay and it's just too crowded.
"There is existing space where the department can be given more space without much cost to extend the area."
Mr Horan said Kingaroy Hospital needed a better layout.
"There is clearly a need for redevelopment or a new hospital to be built," he said. "It needs more space for the future and it seems to me accommodation is very tight."
Mr Horan said the $2 million recently allocated to Kingaroy Hospital by the State Government would help develop the best plan for the hospital.
"We will make sure the planners consult with the staff, community, the council and interested groups on what should be done," he said.
"I think it's really important the final plans are what the Kingaroy community needs."
He said the $2 million would also go towards urgent repairs and expansions to the emergency department.
South Burnett Mayor Wayne Kratzmann welcomed the comments.
"Any refurbishments or extensions made to the Kingaroy Hospital will be a major boost for the South Burnett," he said.
"There is no doubt the benefits would be huge for the community."
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