The Queensland government has allocated the first round of funding to upgrade specialist services at Cairns Base Hospital.
State health minister Lawrence Springborg made the announcement yesterday (April 30), committing the first $4 million of $15 million over four years to improve the facility.
"This funding will be used to bring speciality services to Far North Queensland," Mr Springborg said.
"This is the first step towards moving Cairns Base Hospital down the path to tier one funding."
The initiative aims to attract health professionals in key areas such as neurology, rheumatology, plastic surgery and rehabilitation.
Whilst the new facilities will have an impact on waiting lists for public patients, Queensland residents with private health insurance will still enjoy the flexibility of avoiding the waiting lists, being treated by a doctor of their own choice and the ability of choosing a private hospital that is close to them.
The news also came as Mr Springborg revealed further details of the new Cairns Base Hospital Clinical Services Building currently being built.
According to the health minister, almost 300 of the hospital's 531 inpatients beds will be housed in the new block, which is due to be completed next year.
Queensland Health has committed $446.3 million to the Cairns Base Hospital redevelopment.