A proposed world best practice health, education and community precinct designed to benefit the Northern NSW Coastal community:
- 1,000 new jobs
- hundreds of construction jobs throughout development
- jobs closer to home (38% of workers leave the Tweed daily)
- reduce waiting times in the public health system
- Tweed Valley Hospital co-location creates regional healthcare hub and synergies
- improved public transport through a transport interchange
- attract healthcare specialists to the region
- increase tertiary education opportunities for younger generations, retaining greater regional talent
- revitalises 5.7 hectares of derelict land, unused for 40 years
- key facilities: university campus, aged care facilities, essential worker housing, private hospital, medi-hotel, specialist and allied health services and a community hub
1. Creating a healthcare ecosystem
Complementary healthcare practices within a finite area, creating a one-stop shop for medical needs. This improves patient experience and efficiencies for healthcare professionals who often work across both private and public practices. It also provides an environment to pioneer new ways of working and creates connections between different institutions across disciplines, be they academic, public health or private enterprise.
2. Public — private co-location
Co-location with public healthcare infrastructure, such as the Tweed Valley Hospital, creates cost-effective and sustainable models of care. Private patients presenting to the Emergency Department would have the option to easily transfer to the private facility and, in doing so, will reduce wait times for public patients requiring acute services. This initiative will also save significant public taxpayer funding of the public health system.
3. Leveraging tertiary education
Retaining qualified professionals within regional areas is vital, which is why partnering top facilities with tertiary educators helps create retention. Purpose-built, modern healthcare infrastructure also attracts top talent, providing superior services to the local community in addition to fiscal and economic benefits. Hospitals adjacent to each other also enable clinical training and attract education providers who need access to fully operational hospitals.
4. Supply chain control through medical biotech research and manufacturing
Clinical trials are made possible by having laboratory space adjacent to hospitals, providing fast, quality-controlled systems and processes resulting in better patient outcomes. Having equitable access to essential medical products and technologies is a fundamental building block of a well-functioning health system.
The most efficient and cost-effective way of enabling this type of collaboration is via a co-located health, education and innovation precinct.
5. Localising services
The COVID-19 pandemic induced border closures highlighted the need for local healthcare infrastructure rather than relying on intrastate providers. It is also vital to provide accommodation services so talent can sustainably live and work in Cudgen and maximise their capabilities.
6. Fit-for-purpose property
Healthcare real estate tailored for modern practices as well as future-proofed for the next generation is essential. This means theatres specifically designed for particular procedures as well as ensuring they can be adapted for potential future robotics.
Easy access via main road arterials and public transport infrastructure. This is particularly important for essential healthcare workers.
Destravis Group: Cudgen Connection Health Precinct Analysis (2020)
Key report findings:
Cudgen Connection’s location next to the Tweed Valley Hospital, is the ideal site for a health precinct to mature.
Cudgen Connection can fill 10 to 11 of 12 identified gaps to advance an effective health precinct around Tweed Valley Hospital. These include:
- private hospital is related health services and medical and surgical consulting suites
- short term accommodation (medi-hotel) for visiting health professionals, patients (cancer) and patient visitors
- essential workers housing
- childcare and seniors respite care
- aged care and senior housing
- support retail – cafes, shops
- open space, active and passive recreation opportunities
- community facilities
- opportunity to enhance linkages to local agriculture and food industry through farmers market and farm to plate eateries
- community health and support services
- office space for research, related industries or university
- enhance public and active transport