The Cairns Health Innovation Centre (CHIC) project in Queensland, Australia, has moved to its next phase after work on a detailed business case for the project began.

The plan is being developed in partnership with the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service with the aim to add more clinical service capacity to the current Cairns Hospital precinct.

CHIC will feature research, education and training facilities and complement the A$250m ($160.60m) Cairns University Hospital expansion project, which was announced last year.

The CHIC project will create 611 jobs in its construction stage and add 96 beds for patients by 2026-27.

The Queensland government has allocated A$4.65m ($2.99m) for the business case, which will outline the CHIC facility’s design and is due to be ready by the end of this year.

Options assessed in the business case will guide future works on the facility.

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Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service CEO Leena Singh said: “The Cairns Health Innovation Centre business case is a milestone towards creating a purpose-built education and training, research, and innovation precinct for our region.

“The CHIC will complement our master plans to increase our bed footprint across the Cairns Hospital and complement our new Surgical Centre to be built nearby.

“It will enable partnering not only with universities, but also research and other educational institutions, to ensure the best minds are applied to solving the unique health issues of Far North Queensland. 

“Our Cairns University Hospital project will allow us to further collaborate on research, education, and innovation via the creation of clinical centres of excellence. 

“Additionally, it will help provide additional spaces for training and educating our workforce for the future across a range of disciplines, and in particular medical students from James Cook University’s expanded medical school programme.”