Mater Health Services North Queensland

Mater Health Services North Queensland
Mater Health Services North Queensland Limited
Type Healthcare
Founded 1945
Headquarters Townsville, Queensland, Australia
Key people Mr John Gilmore (A/CEO)

Mater Health Services North Queensland operates two fully accredited private hospitals, one established by the Sisters of Mercy in 1945 named Mater Hospital Pimlico (Formally the Mater Misericordiae Hospital Townsville) and the second purchased in 2007 named the Mater Women's and Children's Hospital Hyde Park (formerly the Wesley/Park Haven Hospital Hyde Park).



Five Sisters of Mercy, members of the Brisbane Congregation, arrived in Townsville in 1878. They began their ministry from a 'cottage on the shores of Cleveland Bay'.

In 1882, Rockhampton was declared a Diocese and the Townsville group was governed from there until 1901, when the group became self-governing with the formation of a Townsville Congregation. Thirteen Sisters were foundation members made up of Sisters from the Brisbane and Rockhampton Congregations who chose to stay in the North.

Over the years the number of Sisters grew and their ministries diversified. Care of sick people was a well established tradition among Sisters of Mercy, and in keeping with that, the decision was made in 1945 to establish a Catholic hospital in Townsville.

A small private hospital in Stagpole Street, known as 'The Lister', was purchased and the Townsville Sisters of Mercy moved formally into Health Care ministry. The hospital was renamed the 'Mater Misericordiae' (Mother of Mercy), the title given to all hospitals operated by the Sisters of Mercy.

When this hospital was found to be inadequate to meet the demands of modern health care, a property was purchased in Fulham Road and a new 50 bed hospital was opened in 1962. The transfer to the new hospital was made possible by the support given to the Sisters of Mercy by a dedicated group of local fund raisers. This support has continued over the years and has enabled the Sisters of Mercy to expand the services significantly.

The Mater Hospital Pimlico from the inner courtyard


The Mater Health Services North Queensland's Philosophy, Mission and Values are based on those of the Sisters of Mercy.

The Sisters of Mercy, founded by Catherine McAuley in Dublin in 1831, is a world wide religious order of women within the Catholic Church. The sisters first came to Australia to Perth in 1846.

Sisters of Mercy believe that:

  • Each person is created in God's own image and intimately loved by God.
  • God intervened in human history in the person of Jesus Christ offering loving mercy to all.
  • Christ's own suffering and death has shown us that in some mysterious way human suffering, and even death, can become a way to a new life.
  • Their gifts as Sisters of Mercy is to know God's loving mercy in their own lives and to share it with others.


Mater Health Services North Queensland Limited operates Catholic facilities inspired by the vision of Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy. Those who minister here strive to:

  • Offer a healing ministry based on Gospel values,
  • Achieve excellence in the provision of high quality health care, and
  • Make God’s love and mercy a reality in their own lives and in the lives of all for whom they care.


Mercy Spirituality

“Happy the merciful, they shall have mercy shown them” (Mt.5:7). “Mercy – the principal path pointed out by Jesus Christ to those who are desirous of following Him” (Catherine McAuley).

Acknowledgement of God in the everyday, which calls us to:

  • An understanding of Catherine McAuley and her vision,
  • The practise of hospitality in our daily life,
  • The provision of Catholic/Christian symbols throughout the hospital,
  • The celebration of various movement’s of the hospital’s life through uplifting liturgies,
  • A firm commitment to responsible stewardship of our Mercy heritage,
  • Collaboration with community groups and other health professionals in providing Gospel-based health services, and
  • A short time of reflection/prayer within our busy working week.


“Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man” (Mk.1:41). “If our hearts be not moved, then in vain can we hope to move the hearts of others” (Catherine McAuley).

A heart that looks for every opportunity to:

  • Welcome,
  • Listen,
  • Empathise,
  • Forgive,
  • Affirm.

Excellence in Care

“Just as you excel in everything, in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness, and in your love for us – see that you also excel in the grace of giving” (2 Cor.8:7). “Perfection does not consist in performing extraordinary action, but rather in performing extraordinarily well the ordinary actions of every day” (Catherine McAuley).

Our hospital prides itself in providing:

  • A high quality care for all patients,
  • Opportunities for keeping abreast of developments in medical science, and
  • Regular staff in-service.


“Be ready to do good at every opportunity, to be courteous and always polite to all kinds of people” (Titus 3:2). “Be ever ready to praise, to encourage, to stimulate – but slow to censure and still slow to condemn” (Catherine McAuley).

A gracious disposition which:

  • Seeks to act courteously and to build right relationships,
  • Reverences all people’s traditions and religious convictions,
  • Upholds the dignity and integrity of patients, visitors and staff,
  • Regards confidentiality as a sacred trust, and
  • Endeavours to speak in an uplifting and encouraging manner.


“This is what God asks of you: only this, to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). “There are three things that the poor prize more highly than gold, though they cost the donor nothing. These are the kind work, the gentle compassionate look and the patient hearing of their sorrows” (Catherine McAuley).

A gospel imperative which urges us to:

  • Share resources with those in need,
  • To act justly,
  • Offer assistance regarding conflict resolution, and
  • Commit a certain percentage of financial profit to the support of appropriate causes.


Mater Hospital Pimlico is an acute Medical/Surgical facility with a bed capacity of 158. Specialties represented include Cardiac Surgery, Cardiac Catheter Laboratories, Coronary Care Unit, Intensive Care Unit, Endoscopy, Interventional Radiology, Orthopaedics, Neurosurgery, Respiratory Laboratory, Urodynamics, and Sleep Studies Unit. The Mater Outreach Services is composed of the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Unit (PTSD) and the Cardiac Rehabilitation Services.

Mater Women's and Children's Hospital in Hyde Park was established in 2007 and is a Medical/Surgical facility with a present bed capacity of 70. Current specialty areas include Women's, Children's, Obstetrics, General Surgery, Urology, Day Oncology, Urodynamics and Plastics.


  • 1967 - A 12 bed Medical Unit - Total bed capacity 62.
  • 1972 - A two-storey building to accommodate 2 units of 19 and 20 beds, and a new Education Unit - Total bed capacity: 101
  • 1979 - A two-storey building to accommodate a 20 bed Surgical Unit, new Operating facilities, Medical Records, a new Main Entrance, and a 6 bed extension to the Maternity Unit - Total Bed Capacity: 127
  • 1984 - A three-storey building to accommodate Radiology, a 20 bed Surgical Unit and a 20 bed Medical Unit - Total bed capacity: 167
  • 1985 - A new Conference Room and facilities, and additions to the Education Unit
  • 1986 - A new Maintenance Workshop, solar hot water system, and renovations to the Nurses Home to accommodate the Townsville Anaesthetic Group.
  • 1987 - Energy Block addition to the workshop, and air conditioning extended to all areas of the hospital. A new Laundry.
  • 1990 - A single storey building to accommodate 5 Medical Consulting Suites
  • 1992 - A four-storey building to accommodate Endoscopy, Laser, Interventional Radiology, Cardiac Catheter facilities, a Maternity Unit - 22 beds and 4 neo-natal cots, a Surgical Unit - 40 beds and a Medical Unit - 40 Beds. Total Bed Capacity: 167
  • 1993 - Renovations to allow for ICU/CCU - 11 beds, a larger entrance foyer, Administration, Medical Records, and expansion of the Central Sterilising and Supply Unit, an additional Operating Room - total 5 - and 3 more Recovery Room bays - total 9. Total bed capacity: 167.
  • 1994 - Extension to accommodate a Respiratory Unit and a Physiotherapy Unit.
  • 1996 - Construction of a discrete Day Surgery Unit.
  • 1997 - Opening of Sleep Disorder Unit. Construction of motel type accommodation for patients' relatives and units for staff.
  • 1998 - Opening of Emergency Unit and Purpose built children's unit. Refurbishment of the Day Unit to include the Discrete Cardiac Catheter Laboratory, Interventional Radiography, Endoscopy, Urodynamics, and New Recovery Room. Commencement of Haemophoresis Therapy. Expansion of the hospital volunteer service to now include in-hospital volunteer services, Cardiac Support Group (composed of past patients) to assist with patient support, Mater Hospital Cardiac Unit Auxiliary Inc to assist with patient support and fund raising.
  • 1999 - Refurbishment of Radiology including the installation of Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) and Nuclear Medicine Service.
  • 2000 - Opening of Lothair Street complex including Operating Room Suite, Intensive Care and Cardiac Services, Pathology Services, Purchasing, Kitchen and Cafeteria.
  • 2001 - Affiliation of the Mater with James Cook University in regard to Medical and Nursing Education and Research Clinics at the Mater with the relocation of 13 Doctors (later 28). Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme commenced in April. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Unit (PTSD) is officially opening by the Prime Minister. Mater becomes and Incorporated body (July). Blessing and Opening of Sr Dorothea Loth Unit. Re-Accreditation. Relative Accommodation, Fulham Road completed.
  • 2002 - Ante-natal & Post-natal clinics. Computer System Upgrade to PiMS. Launch of Hospital Web Site
  • 2003 - Blessing and Opening of the new Surgical Admission Unit. Alterations to Level 1 to provide space for new Pelvic Health Unit (Prof AJ Rane). New Medical Suite and Allied Health Rooms (Reach Rehabilitation, SportsMed Physiotherapy) are the result of refurbishment of old Intensive Care and later Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit. Medical Offices with space for a total of 28 Doctors. Northern Pathology relocates to Sr Dorothea Complex (beneath Intensive Care Unit).
  • 2004 - New Endoscopy Unit
  • 2005 - Construction of a new Cardiac Catheter Laboratory. Commencement of Day Oncology Unit and Clinical Trial Centre.
  • 2006 - Construction of 2 additional consulting suites in the Mater Medical Centre. Relocation of PTSD to off site premises in Mooney Street. Demolition of Administration building on corner of Fulham Road / Park Street.
  • 2007 - Purchase of The Wesley Hospital Townsville - 58 bed Medical / Surgical facility. Total Bed Capacity: 225
  • 2008 - Move of Women's and Children's unit to the Hyde Park campus. Change in company name from Mater Misericordiae Hospital to Mater Health Services North Queensland Limited (MHSNQ). MHSNQ is broken into three parts. Mater Hospital Pimlico, Mater Women's and Children's Hospital, and Mater Outreach Services which consists of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Services and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Unit (PTSD). The Mater also inherits a new logo.
  • 2009 - Construction of medical suites (Lister House) at Mater Women's and Children's Hospital Hyde Park.
  • 2010 - Construction of new Education Centre at the Pimlico Campus. Funding for this building was received from the Department of Health and Ageing and the facility is a joint initiative with James Cook University.
  • 2011 - Launch of new hospital web site.


Mater Health Services North Queensland utilises the programme developed by The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards' (ACHS), and Evaluation and Quality Improvement Programme (EQuIP) as a framework to implement and evaluate quality improvement systems through accreditation surveys.

See also

External links

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