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Aspen Medical hands over Canberra’s COVID-19 Surge Facility to the ACT Government

Due to rising cases of COVID-19 presenting in Australia, the ACT Government commissioned Aspen Medical to build and operate a 51-bed facility that responds to patients infected with or suspected of having COVID-19. With seven days design-time and 37 days for construction, the facility was built with off-the-shelf and locally manufactured materials to meet the recommended requirements of the World Health Organization specifically for COVID-19 care.

The construction of the facility, which was first officially announced by ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith on 09 April, was built on Garran Oval, opposite Canberra Hospital.

"There is a need to work quickly in this situation," Ms Stephen-Smith said.

"A tender process would have slowed it down and we would still end up with [Aspen Medical] who knows how to get this stuff done, and we're lucky to have Aspen in the community."

The facility is fitted out with full patient monitoring capability at each bed, portable ultrasound and radiology equipment, and fully stocked with medical consumables and pharmaceuticals required to treat any medical or surgical presentation.  

Aspen Medical is also contracted to supply all the staff for this facility should they be required, from doctors, to nursing staff, wards people and clerical staff.  The company was required to not only recruit the clinical team, but also to deal with border travel restrictions, high demands on staff and restrictions on the use of staff with comprised health systems.