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Hospital works on hold due to mould issue

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By AARON SMITH

WORKS on Thursday Island’s hospital upgrade were halted last week after safety concerns of mould were detected on the site.

Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service director of asset management Dean Davidson said that a specialist hygiene contractor had started an inspection of Thursday Island Hospital, the primary healthcare centre and the Community Wellness Centre on June 11, “…for potential mould issues.”

A source in the building industry reported that tradies were told to down tools on Thursday and leave the site.

“The commissioning of a full inspection follows an initial identification of suspected mould in the internal wall cavity and air-conditioning system of a section of Thursday Island Hospital currently being demolished as part of a major redevelopment of the facility,” Mr Davidson said.

This initial discovery was reported to the health service by the redevelopment contractor Hutchinson Builders on June 3.

The inspections are expected to be complete by today (Tuesday) and a report developed and presented to the health service in three weeks.

Mr Davidson said: “In the tropics, it is not unusual to find outbreaks of mould in buildings.

“There is no practical way to eliminate all mould indoors.

“The best way to control mould is to control sources of moisture in a building.

“Due to the hospital’s location on a headland surrounded closely by water, the salt and moist sea air have been causing steady deterioration in the buildings.”

A redevelopment of the hospital is being undertaken to address that deterioration.

Demolition works in the affected area have been paused temporarily while the full specialist inspection is undertaken, and a report prepared. Other works will continue.

Mr Davidson said: “The findings of the report will determine if any future course of action is required.”

Clinical operations at our facilities have not been affected.”

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