When it comes to saving lives, seconds count, so the new Mount Isa Helipad – just metres from the emergency entrance – will be a huge help when it is completed early next year.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, in Mount Isa for her fifth Isa Rodeo, was on hand on Saturday to turn the first sod of the project.
The site of the helipad has been in an ongoing problem since helicopters were forced to land in Kruttschnitt Oval across the river and that became a bigger problem once Lifeflight introduced bigger choppers this year.
The project to put it on hospital land became feasible after the new car park opened this month at Ian St.
The premier said the new helipad would mean a reduction time of getting to the hospital of 20 minutes.
“This is the difference between life and death,” the premier said.
This is the difference between life and death
“In remote and rural towns across the state we need the health infrastructure that is absolutely needed and my government is committed 100% to ensuring Lifeflight can land here right next to the emergency department.”
Ms Palaszczuk afterwards toured the hospital and thanked the workers.
“The doctors, the nurses, the paramedics, the cleaners, anyone that helps make up this vibrant community,” she said.
Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter said thanked Health Minister Cameron Dick who he said, was extremely helpful, recognised and understood ithe importance.
“The works were fast tracked to ensure prompt delivery and this also represented a big upgrade to undercover parking at the same time,” Mr Katter said.
“By positioning the helipad close to the hospital, it freed up hospital car park spaces to allow elderly and sick patients closer and easier access to services at the hospital.
Mr Katter said he lobbied hard on this and the turning of the sod with the Premier was one of the highlights of a packed weekend.
“I thank the Premier for delivery of funding for the rescue helicopter under her government and ensuring this valuable service stayed alive,” he said. “It’s a great outcome for everyone.”