Find­ing long-term med­i­cal staff a pri­or­ity

Central and North Burnett Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

THE on­go­ing strug­gle to find a per­ma­nent doc­tor has been touted as the rea­son be­hind the dis­cus­sion about the fu­ture of Eidsvold Hospi­tal.

Queens­land Nurses Union Wide Bay re­gional or­gan­iser Vicky Smyth met with Eidsvold Hospi­tal staff last week to dis­cuss their con­cerns about the pos­si­ble re­duc­tion of ser­vices at the hospi­tal.

“Even if they don’t close the hospi­tal, it doesn’t mean they won’t close some as­pects,” she said.

“We don’t want to see any re­duc­tions in ser­vices.”

The Peo­ple for Eidsvold group’s Noel Thompson said lo­cal health ser­vices should not be re­duced in any way.

“It can­not get any smaller. It should be get­ting larger,” he said.

Wide Bay Health and Hos- pital Ser­vice chief ex­ec­u­tive Adrian Pen­ning­ton said not be­ing able to re­cruit doc­tors or nurses to Eidsvold on a long-term ba­sis was a fac­tor in pro­posed changes.

“(It) has chal­lenged our abil­ity to en­sure con­ti­nu­ity of high qual­ity care,” he said.

“We have tried des­per­ately, over a long pe­riod, to re­solve the is­sues fac­ing Eidsvold.”

At Mon­day night’s town meet­ing, com­mu­nity mem­ber Julie Tye told the board mem­bers they needed to make find­ing a per­ma­nent doc­tor a higher pri­or­ity.

“(There’s) a demon­strated lack of ef­fort to re­cruit per­ma­nent med­i­cal staff,” she said. “The po­si­tion has been ad­ver­tised once in the past 12 months and that was in July.

“Short term use of locums have be­come the norm for Eidsvold Hospi­tal.”

Mem­ber for Cal­lide Jeff Seeney said the State Go- vern­ment was com­mit­ted to main­tain­ing health ser­vices across re­gional Queens­land.

But Fed­eral Mem­ber for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said find­ing per­ma­nent health care staff in ru­ral ar­eas could be dif­fi­cult.

Photo: Bran­don Livesay

THEIRSAY: Dot Hamil­ton, Julie Tye, Don­naPope, May­orDonWaugh, An­thony Coates, Lynn Tucker, Ken O’Dowd and Peter Web­ster fight for the hospi­tal at the pub­lic meet­ing.

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