The Tasmanian Government in Australia has approved two important Stage II Redevelopment projects at Royal Hobart Hospital.

The move is part of a programme to deliver $149m (A$200m) in critical upgrades to the hospital.

As part of the programme, the lower ground of H-Block will be redeveloped as the first stage of the Emergency Department (ED) expansion.

The $10.43m (A$14m) ED expansion will involve the conversion of the former paediatric outpatients’ unit in lower ground H-Block to a ED short-stay unit.

Meanwhile, the paediatric outpatients have moved to the third level of the D-Block.

The short-stay unit will include 28 new beds for patients who need additional assessment and observation for up to 24 hours.

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It will provide better access to single patient bays and improve operational efficiency.

Additionally, the purpose-built area will provide access to dedicated treatment spaces for certain procedures.

The project will also include $9m (A$12m) refurbishment of J-Block to accommodate key upgraded services such as relocation of the cardiology unit from D-block to a newly renovated 38-bed ward.

The J-Block will also feature a general medical and surgical inpatient ward and a new sleep medicine service.

In a statement, the Tasmanian Government said: “The works are an important part of stage two of the Royal Hobart Hospital Redevelopment with many other works already underway including renovations to endoscopy services on A-Block level four, as well as significant works to increase the hospital’s critical care capacity.”

Work on the redevelopment is scheduled to begin from next week and the J-Block refurbishment is anticipated to be completed by September this year.

The ED expansion is expected to be completed in December this year.