Independent financial data released has shown the Townsville Hospital and Health Service (HHS) has helped carry the North Queensland economy during challenging economic times.
An economic impact assessment by AEC Group showed that during the 2017-2018 financial year the Townsville HHS contributed close to $1.9 billion to the North Queensland economy.
This included jobs for 11,743 North Queenslanders taking home wages of close to $1 billion.
In Townsville alone, the HHS directly employs 5355. Townsville Hospital and Health Service Board Chair Mr Tony Mooney said Townsville’s position as the major tertiary health provider in Northern Australia was vital to the region’s economy.
“It is imperative that we continue to grow Townsville as Northern Australia’s tertiary health and research hub.
“We directly employ 6252 people who take home $679 million in wages, these wages support an additional 5500 jobs in our community.
“This economic impact assessment shows very clearly the significant role the Townsville HHS plays as a major economic driver in North Queensland.
“There is no doubt that this impact will continue to grow strongly over the next decade.”
Mr Mooney said, for the first time, the business community received a formal briefing on the Townsville HHS’s economic contribution at a ‘Business Breakfast’ at The Ville Resort and Casino.
“The State Government’s Buy Queensland policy requires local suppliers to be prioritised and supported to deliver significant contracts,” he said.
“It is essential our local business community know how to tap into and leverage the opportunities associated with us generating almost $2 billion
“My focus is to make sure that the money we are generating is translating into direct local jobs and in turn that money is being spent buying local goods and services.”
Mr Mooney said the Townsville HHS’s economic contribution wasn’t limited to Townsville but across North Queensland.
“The Townsville HHS is far more than The Townsville Hospital,” Mr Mooney said. “We operate 18 hospitals and community facilities as well as two residential aged care homes across Charters Towers, Ingham, Ayr and Home Hill and Palm Island.
“These towns and facilities are vital to how we deliver health services and provide a significant economic boost locally.”
AEC modelling showed outside of Townsville, 147.8 million was generated by the Townsville HHS including jobs for 546 people and a wages bill of $32.2 million.
KEY FINDINGS OF AEC’S TOWNSVILLE HHS ECONOMIC IMPACT ASSESSMENT
$1.9 million economic output including $918 million directly
11,743 jobs including 6252 directly
$958 million in wages and salaries
$1.4 billion contribution to Gross Regional Product
$21 million in capital works expenditure in 2017-2018 for projects including a new children’s ward, the Palm Island Primary Care Centre, expansion of endoscopy and renal services and relocating BreastScreen to Domain Central