The Queensland Government has committed to establishing a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit in Townsville, expected to commence operation in July.


Premier Anna Bligh said recurrent funding for the unit was estimated to be $8.75 million over the next two years.


The unit will initially operate as an integrated unit within the adult ICU before building up to a stand-alone unit. Two paediatric beds will be established in 2012-13, an additional bed in 2013-14, with more beds to follow as services ramp up in response to demand and as recruitment and training continue.


Two independent paediatric intensive care specialists currently reviewing paediatric demand at Townsville Hospital, as well as a doctor and a nurse from the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, will head a steering committee to oversee implementation of the new service.


About 30 new staff will be hired including paediatric intensive specialists, new nurses and other staff.