Breakthrough In Treatment Of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms Adds 94 Jobs

Breakthrough In Treatment Of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms Adds 94 Jobs

Queensland Minister for Manufacturing Cameron Dick

Brisbane Medical Device Company Recruits Staff To Boost Life-Changing Exports

Victor P Taffa

Medical device manufacturer Cook Medical Australia is adding 94 jobs in a second shift at its Eight Mile Plains facility to meet increasing export demand for its life-changing stent devices.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the flexible afternoon shift would boost production by more than 50 % and allow the mainly female workforce to achieve greater work-life balance and job flexibility.

“Cook Medical is one of few manufacturers worldwide of custom-made stent grafts to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms.” Minister Dick said.

“Adding 94 staff at this facility not only means more jobs for Queenslanders, it also means this company can speed up production and increase volume to meet demand for its life-changing stent graft devices.”

“Queensland’s biomedical sector operates within a global value chain that saw Cook Medical’s 2017 exports exceed $150 Million, with 94 % of its locally manufactured products going offshore to 64 countries.”

“This means that it’s not only Queensland patients in our hospitals who will benefit from increased production at Cook Medical’s Eight Mile Plains facility, but also patients and hospitals across the world.”

Member for Toohey Peter Russo said he was thrilled Cook Medical was supporting one of the Palaszczuk Government’s key priorities by creating more jobs for Queenslanders.

“Addition of an extra shift at a growing company like Cook Medical is a fantastic opportunity for jobseekers, especially in our local area, and especially for local residents seeking more flexible work arrangements to fit in with their lifestyle.” Mr. Russo said.

“Having a manufacturing facility of this calibre and reach operating right here in our backyard is a real coup for the Toohey area, as this facility will no doubt support both local jobs and the economy as it continues to grow and expand.”

Minister Dick said the Palaszczuk Government was backing the biomedical sector through the $513 Million Advance Queensland program.

“We’re supporting this growing sector to grow and create more high-value, knowledge-based jobs of the future that tap into our educated, and experienced pool of talent to produce world-class products and services.” Minister Dick said.

“Capitalising on our competitive strengths in existing and emerging sectors, by 2026 Queensland aims to be a recognised leader nationally and internationally for its advanced manufacturing biomedical technologies, products, systems and services that are innovative, sustainable, and embedded in local and global supply chains.”

“It is growing companies like Cook Medical which are fuelling this vision.” Minister Dick said.

In addition to manufacturing custom-made stent grafts, Cook Medical Australia also leads the Asia Pacific region in research and development and manufacture of endovascular stent grafts and IVF technologies.

Company’s General Manager Dr. Samih Nabulsi said Cook Medical’s highly skilled manufacturing employees were 90 % women who hand-sew and hand-knot each stent with polyester medical-grade thread, producing different and specific stent grafts for each patient.

“Our recruitment drive aims to bring on 7 people a month this year to fill an 8-hour shift running from 2 pm until midnight, Monday to Thursday.” Dr. Nabulsi said.

“Extra shift will mean 231 skilled technicians will be on site across 19 hours to deliver products to patients faster.”

“Later shift appeals to employees with family commitments that require parents to stagger their work schedules an option that is already drawing previous employees back.”

“Time taken to sew each stent depends on the complexity of the graft. Our employees take great pride in their work as they know that these devices may be life-changing for patients.” Dr. Nabulsi said.

Queensland’s biomedical sector in 2015-16 added $1.4 Billion to the state’s economy, employed 9,440 people and is forecast to grow by up to 38 % over the next 10 years to $1.9 Billion and potentially generate a further 3,000 jobs.

In 2016-17, manufacturing was the fifth largest contributor to the Queensland economy, employing almost 170,000 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $19.2 Billion in added value to the state’s economy. The sector is predicted to grow the economy by $7.13 Billion and support 52,400 jobs over the next 10 years, an additional 11,700 jobs.

Palaszczuk Government is actively supporting development of the biomedical sector through initiatives including:

  • $2 Million Biomedical Assistance Fund which will deliver financial assistance to progress a biomedical product, process or service to a stage where it can attract follow-on funding from private and public sources,
  • Queensland Biomedical Launchpad which will take a group of biomedical enterprises through an intensive program of mentoring on developing, validating and implementing their ideas,
  • A biomedical voucher program which will provide national and international biomedical companies access to Queensland’s biomedical service providers,
  • A program of business-to-business collaboration and information sharing initiatives which will help connect biomedical enterprises with the skills and knowledge they need to grow.