Garran Oval, adjacent to the Canberra Hospital, is set to house the temporary COVID-19 Emergency Department (ED) that the ACT Government flagged last week.
The ACT Government is investing $23 million to build, equip and operate the temporary ED, which is anticipated to be operational in May. The new facility will expand the Territory’s ED capacity and enhance the ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ACT Government said the location has been selected to mitigate any interruptions to the Canberra Hospital operations through this critical period.
It provides flexibility for the facility to have adequate area available for logistics and essential equipment. The COVID-19 ED facility is intended to be fully self-sufficient by way of public and staff car parking and amenities.
ACT Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said the ACT Government has been working closely with experts across both the health and construction sectors to ensure the facility could be constructed quickly and would meet the anticipated demand for health care in the months to come.
“We have been consulting with representatives from the World Health Organization, as well as local and other international clinical experts as we work through the early designs,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.
“Though the designs aren’t yet finalised, we are moving as quickly as possible to plan, design and deliver this new facility, and ensure we are well equipped to cope with the anticipated increased demand on our health care system.
“In moving ahead quickly on this project, the government is planning for the worst scenario whilst hoping for the best outcome for our community. We will continue to take decisive action during these uncertain times to make sure we’re as ahead of the game as we can be.”
The ACT Government, along with partners Aspen Medical, will commence site investigation for the temporary COVID-19 ED over the coming days to inform final design and site layout. Construction will begin shortly after.
As further detail is finalised, the ACT Government has said they will keep the community informed about the model of care and the operation of the facility, including who should use it and when.