The Townsville Hospital is a public tertiary care hospital in the city of Townsville and serves patients from the entire North Queensland region, with patients from as far as Mount Isa and Cape York being airlifted or transported to the Hospital on a daily basis. The hospital is relatively new (completed 2001) and located in the suburb of Douglas. The next main referral hospital is the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, in Herston, Brisbane some 1375 kilometers distant.
The Townsville Hospital currently has over 580 beds. During the year 2010, the hospital admitted 54,941 patients, and had 60,676 presentations to the emergency department. The hospital is also the major tertiary maternity centre, with 2,308 babies delivered in 2010. The Townsville Hospital is the major teaching hospital of the James Cook University School of Medicine. The current chief executive of the Townsville Hospital and Health Service, which includes The Townsville Hospital, is Mrs Julia Squire and the current Board Chair is Mr John Bearne. The hospital currently undergoing a $437 million redevelopment, delivering an additional 100 beds, an expanded Emergency Department, expanded Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit, and expansion of oncology services. The Emergency Department is currently the largest in Queensland.
There have been several Townsville hospitals over the city's 145 year history. The first Townsville Hospital was established in 1882 when the first stage of the North Ward Townsville Hospital was completed. The two story brick building accommodated 70 patients. When Cyclone Leonta struck Townsville in May 1903 it caused extensive local damage and the hospital partially collapsed. The second Townsville General Hospital opened in North Ward on 21 April 1951. The old Townsville General Hospital Psychiatric service was the focus of intense scrutiny in the 1980s after it was revealed 65 people had died in the psychiatric ward. The deaths and subsequent inquest gave rise to the Burden Inquiry, Report of the National Inquiry into the Human Rights of People with Mental Illness 1990. The North Ward hospital could not expand any further due to its urban location and was regularly reaching absolute capacity. However the hospital buildings, with their landmark white art deco appearance, enviable location, and water views, have been retained and are being turned into exclusive apartments.
- Queensland Government: Townsville Hospital
- Queensland Health: The Townsville Health Service District Redevelopment
- Townsville Council website: A Chronological History of Townsville 1770 to 1900
- Townsville Council website: A Chronological History of Townsville 1901 to 1969
- Deadly Disclosures, William De Maria, ebrary, Inc, p207
- Townsville Council website: A Chronological History of Townsville 1970 to 2003