A custom-made ambulance vessel which will help paramedics transport patients between the bay islands and mainland is now operational.
The 12-metre SeaLink Medicat has the capacity to carry 16 people including ambulance officers, three patients and the vessel master.
The Medicat’s launch comes as the state government opens a multimillion-dollar satellite hospital on Meissner Street, Redland Bay, just a few hundred metres from the island ferry terminal.
The new facility, built within the Weinam Creek PDA, has been touted as a game-changer for the islands with its offerings including a minor injury and illness clinic and cancer day unit.
Health Minister Shannon Fentiman said the vessel had the capacity to transfer three patients at a time under QAS supervision.
“Having a medical incident or injury can be scary, especially when there is a large body of water between you and the care you need,” she said.
“Our excellent working relationship with SeaLink has meant our patients have always been transferred safely, with the much-needed QAS support onboard.
“The Palaszczuk government will continue to support the QAS in delivering their first-class essential service to the Southern Bay Island communities.”
Ms Fentiman, who took over the health portfolio in May, helped launch the $1.77m vessel with Redlands MP Kim Richards at Redland Bay earlier in August.
Queensland Ambulance Service assistant commissioner Peter Warrener said the new vessel would provide better outcomes for bay island residents.
“The QAS is always looking for innovative ways to respond to the community,” he said.
“The dedicated ambulance boat will allow our officers greater ease to treat and transport patients to and from these Island communities and the mainland.”