Finding long-term medical staff a priority
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.
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.