Healthscope has been selected as the preferred bidder for the construction of the new $1bn Northern Beaches Hospital in Sydney, Australia.

The project work includes construction of a hospital with 14 operating theatres and six surgical suites, an advanced intensive care and critical care units, as well as a modern inpatient mental health facility.

Construction on the hospital is scheduled to begin in early 2015, with plans to open it in 2018. More than 700 jobs will be created during the construction phase of the project.

New South Wales (NSW) premier Mike Baird said: "The Northern Beaches Hospital will be the first built on a greenfield site in Sydney in 20 years, delivering the best possible care to public and private patients.

"Construction on the hospital is scheduled to begin in early 2015, with plans to open it in 2018."

"After a rigorous evaluation process, Heathscope’s proposal for a modern, nine-storey hospital will contain 488 beds, 1,400 car spaces and a helipad.

"This project will be valued at $1bn, including $400m in road upgrades that the NSW Government will complete before the doors open in 2018."

The final contract with Healthscope is expected to be completed by the end of this year, and Northern Sydney Local Health District will enter into a long-term partnership with Healthscope to provide public patient services over the next 20 years.

The public portion of the hospital can be handed back to the NSW Government at no additional cost at the end of the contract period.

Healthscope will have a further 20 years to provide services to private patients before the remaining part of the hospital can also be returned.