Groundwork has commenced on the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital in South Australia, with drilling works underway at the site.

According to Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade, the preparation works are important for the development of the new purpose-built facility.

Construction of the new hospital is expected to create thousands of jobs locally.

Initially, the government has invested A$550m ($388m) for the project, which is intended to deliver hospital care to women and children in the state. The facility will also enable technology and medical research.

Minister Wade said: “The groundworks for this landmark construction will involve sampling soil structure and groundwater quality to help inform engineering assessments as part of the master planning for the new hospital.

“The sampling activity is standard practice on projects of this scale and is another way the Marshall Liberal Government is building what matters to South Australian families.”

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Drilling will occur on the western end of the biomedical precinct, which has been identified as the new site for the hospital. This site co-locates the hospital with the Royal Adelaide Hospital and in the BioMed City.

New groundwater monitoring wells will be installed and samples will be taken from wells installed while building the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Women’s and Children’s Health Network CEO Lindsey Gough noted: “We are committed to developing the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital in consultation with our clinicians, staff and consumers.

“Their input is vital to ensure the new hospital delivers healthcare services of the highest standard for South Australian women and children.”

The government has partnered with Kaurna and aboriginal monitors will be used for the geo-technical process. Drilling is expected to continue over the coming few weeks.

Earlier this month, Queensland Health and James Cook University agreed to work together to plan and set up a university hospital in Cairns, Australia.