Construction on a new northside hospital could start by 2025, with discussions underway about whether the new facility should be built on the existing Calvary site or on a new site.
Tender documents have revealed the government has planned to announce funding and its plans for the new hospital in next year's territory budget.
The ACT government has flagged the new hospital could be open by 2028, with main construction works forecast to take place over three years.
Consultants have been asked to consider how a new hospital could be built at Calvary Hospital in Bruce but the government has also left open the option to build a facility at a new site.
But either option would deliver "essentially the same hospital" with clinical services and design requirements to be largely the same.
Officials from the ACT government have undertaken preliminary analysis of both options with a new site to be about 12 hectares.
Consultancy firm Arup is being paid $3.1 million to undertake site investigations and to inform the concept design, look at a master plan, project costs and a risk analysis.
The statement of requirements for the tender said the current facilities at the Calvary Public Hospital in Bruce were no longer fit for contemporary health care delivery.
It noted Canberra's population was expected to increase to more than 520,000 people in the next 10 years with the number of residents over 65 to increase by 40 per cent over the next period.
"The growing and ageing population is expected to increase demand on general and specialist surgical services, especially in Canberra's north, where the majority of population growth is expected to be concentrated," the statement of requirements said.
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The firm will be tasked with undertaking site investigations for the Calvary Hospital site and will need to develop an updated master plan.
"The Calvary option would involve the demolition of a number of old campus buildings on the CPHB site to free up the required space for the construction of a new northside hospital, whilst operations continue at the existing hospital," the statement of requirements said.
If alternate options for the site are explored, consultants will be given a shortlist of three to five sites and will determine what would be the best site.
A decision on whether consultants will need to deliver an alternate option will be made following deliberations by the territory's cabinet.
There was $10 million allocated in last year's territory budget for planning and scoping works for a new northside hospital.
The business case is expected to go before the territory's cabinet early next year and will be submitted for consideration in the 2023-24 budget.
A new northside hospital will focus on similar specialties that are currently at Calvary.
"At this stage, it is expected that the core services will continue to be delivered at the proposed northside hospital with a focus on endocrinology, general medical services, maternity and general surgical services," the statement of requirements said.
A briefing, released under freedom of information laws last year, showed the ACT government was told the territory could run out of hospital beds as soon as 2026 and a new northside hospital needed to be a key project.
An expansion of Canberra Hospital is due to be completed by 2024 but it has been plagued by delays. The expansion was originally due to be finished by this year.
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