Mater’s Intensive Care Service is a dynamic and high-performing tertiary intensive care service in the heart of South Brisbane. The service comprises two physically separate but operationally integrated intensive care units (ICU)-Mater Hospital Brisbane's (MHB) ICU and Mater Private Hospital's (MPH) ICU.

The two units are run by dedicated multi-disciplinary teams of critical care clinicians. We provide intensive care to critically ill patients in all Mater facilities in South Brisbane as well as being a tertiary referral centre for patients requiring intensive care from around Queensland and internationally.

About Intensive Care

Mater ICU is run by a team of dedicated and highly trained medical officers led by specialist intensivists, skilled critical care nurses and other healthcare professionals provide intensive care to patients with the help of complex machines and equipment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Patients undergoing major surgery and patients with life-threatening organ dysfunction require intensive monitoring, support and treatment by the intensive care team.

Our patients are at the centre of what we do and we strive to be professional and respectful when communicating with each other, with patients and their loved ones. 

While the ICU team leads and coordinate your care; each patient is often cared for by a number of specialist teams who visit the ICU daily and discuss patient care with the ICU medical and nursing teams. 

When patients are discharged from the ICU to the ward, a home team or parent unit will be responsible for their care.

Patients and families have the right to ask questions about their care and we encourage and support shared decision making.

History and Timeline 

The concept of an intensive care unit (ICU) and the specialty of intensive care medicine first started in Copenhagen, Denmark in the 1950s during the polio epidemic. 

In the 1970s, a coronary care/high dependency unit was established in the old Mater Private Hospital (Augbigny Building). By 1983, the 5-bed unit was capable of providing mechanical ventilation to support patients undergoing neurosurgical and vascular procedures, among others. See the timeline here.

Clinical Services

  • Mater ICU provides care to approximately 2000 critically ill patients each year.
  • Advanced invasive and non-invasive ventilator support, cardiovascular monitoring and support, neuro-critical care, continuous renal replacement therapy and complex peri-operative care.
  • Obstetric Critical Care Centre for critically unwell pregnant patients.
  • Mater Robotic Surgery Program.
  • Complex upper gastro-intestinal surgery including oesophagectomy and other cancer surgery.
  • Collaboration with Mater Centre for Neurosciences and Brisbane Clinical Neuroscience Centre (BCNC) supporting patients undergoing surgery for brain tumours, Parkinson’s disease and complex epilepsies.
  • Supporting Mater Medical Emergency Team (MET) and Code Blue/Cardiac Arrest Response Team. 

Culture and Values

  • We uphold the Mater values: We honour and promote the dignity of human life and of all creation; we act with compassion and integrity; we strive for excellence
  • We aim to provide evidence-based care of the highest quality
  • We aim to treat all patients, our colleagues and ourselves with kindness
  • We aim to work as a team and look out for each other
  • We strive to be the centre of excellence for critical care training and education
  • We aim to promote quality assurance and research activities

Visiting the ICU

  • Visiting hours are flexible; however due to spacing and privacy a maximum of two visitors per patient are permitted in the unit at any one time. Further restrictions apply during COVID-19 as per public health advice.
  • Please stay home if you are unwell in any way.
  • Clean your hands thoroughly before entering and after leaving the ICU.
  • Please keep noise to a minimum, turn mobile phones off or switch to silent mode.
  • Flowers and large gifts such as stuffed toys and balloons are not permitted in ICU, please also check with the ICU team before bringing in any food items.
  • We are constantly attending to patients’ needs; therefore, there may be times when visitors will be asked to wait outside to facilitate patient care or procedures.
  • As family and friends of an ICU patient, the best thing you can do is to be there, provide support and let them know you care. In most cases it is okay to touch a patient, hold their hand and talk to them. They may not be able to respond but they can usually hear and feel you.
  • To find out more about the experience you can read our brochure here.

Education and Quality Assurance

  • Mater ICU is accredited by the College of Intensive Care Medicine (CICM) of Australia and New Zealand for basic and advanced training in Intensive Care Medicine.
  • The units are also accredited by the Australian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM), Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and Australia and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) for the critical care. component of their advanced training programs.
  • Mater ICU is one of the only six institutions nationally to have federally-funded specialist training positions (STP) in recognition of the high quality of training provided here.
  • Mater ICU has a dynamic teaching program and we run a large number of basic and advanced post-graduate courses for critical care clinicians.
  • We have a range of quality assurance activities and innovative quality improvement initiatives.
  • Mater ICU participates in ANZICS-CORE APD database which is one of the largest and most well-established ICU databases in the world and serves as performance benchmark for all ICUs in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Mater ICU has dynamic education team consisting of an education coordinator with two clinical facilitators who support application of knowledge for nurses and the interprofessional team in the clinical space.
  • We offer all novice critical care nurses the ICU Transition Support Program (TSP). The TSP is part of a state-wide network and is recognised by universities allowing participants credit towards post graduate studies.
  • Mater Education is a leading provider of interprofessional healthcare simulation with world class programs and facilities.
  • At mater ICU we encourage all our team to thrive by offering many opportunities such as the Critical Care Rotation Program for nurses.


  • Mater ICU is active in clinical research and we participate in a number of multi-centre trials including trials coordinated by the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society Clinical Trials Group (ANZICS CTG).
  • As a patient or family member you may be provided with information about a research project and invited to provide informed consent for yourself or you loved one to participate in a study. More information will be given to you by your care provider at the time. 

You can find out more from Mater Research. 

Meet our ICU Team

The Mater Private and Public Intensive Care Unit's are comprised of highly dedicated and skilled doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, speech pathologists, social workers, dieticians and pharmacists who are supported by a talented team of administrative and operational team members. 

Allied Health

Additional Services 

  • Social Workers – social workers assist with counselling services, Centrelink benefits, accommodation and other emergency relief. To see a social worker please ask a team member for an appointment.
  • Pastoral Care - a pastoral care worker is available for patients, families and friends for emotional and spiritual support. This service may be accessed through the staff or by calling 07 3163 8111 and asking for Pastoral Care.
  • Chapel - Chapels are located on Level 6, Mater Private Hospital Brisbane and Level 3, Salmon Building for prayer and quiet reflection.
  • You can find out more about other facilities at Mater Private Hospital and Mater Hospital Brisbane.

Location and Contact Details

Mater Hospital Intensive Care Unit

  • Level 5, Salmon Building
  • Raymond Terrace, South Brisbane Q 4101

Mater Private Hospital Intensive Care Unit

  • Level 7, Mater Private Hospital Brisbane
  • 301 Vulture Street, South Brisbane Q 4101

To contact the Mater ICU please phone 07 3163 8111 and ask to be put through to the desired location.