MEDIA RELEASE: New intensive care beds open at Canberra Hospital

The Canberra Hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU) now has an additional eight beds, following
completion of a $13.5 million expansion.

These extra beds, which bring the total number of physical beds in Canberra Hospital’s ICU to 39, will
help ensure patients can continue to receive lifesaving care, including ventilation and high-level
health services following trauma or complex surgery.

Senator for the ACT Zed Seselja said the Commonwealth Government funded expansion will provide
additional care places for the sickest and most critical patients in need of high-level care across our

"Having more than doubled funding to our hospitals, I am proud of the Commonwealth
Government’s commitment to continue to deliver projects that support access to healthcare for

“The ICU at Canberra Hospital treats around 2,200 patients annually, and the completion of this
expansion will mean more patients are able to receive the critical care they need, close to theirfamily and loved ones.”

ACT Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said with a growing and ageing population in the ACT
and Southern NSW, preparing for increased demand for ICU-level care is crucial.

“The expansion of the current ICU facilities at Canberra Hospital, funded by the Commonwealth
Government, provides additional health system capacity while construction is underway on the new
60-bed ICU that’s part of the Canberra Hospital Expansion project due for completion in 2024,”
Minister Stephen-Smith said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how important it is to have surge intensive care capacity in
the Territory’s health system. These expansion works have created a cutting-edge facility, with more
negative pressure spaces to separate infectious and non-infectious patients.

“Recruitment is underway to increase ICU staffing by 40 full time equivalent positions, with over
$28 million committed in the 202122 Budget to operationalise four more beds in a staged way to
2023-24. That’s more medical, nursing, allied health and support services staff to care for
Canberrans who are critically unwell.

“These expansion works also provided a valuable short-term boost to the local construction industry,
with up to 55 construction workers on site per day since works began in February 2021.

“The ICU expansion is part of our plan for a public health system that delivers the care Canberrans
need, when and where they need it,” Minister Stephen-Smith said. 


Senator the Hon Zed Seselja
Senator for the Australian Capital Territory

Rachel Stephen-Smith MLA
Minister for Health