‘Don’t sell off ser­vices’

Min­is­ter claims LNP aims to sell Pathol­ogy Queens­land

Fraser Coast Chronicle - - NEWS - Car­lie Walker car­lie.walker@ fraser­coastchron­i­cle.com.au

HEALTH Min­is­ter Cameron Dick has called on the Op­po­si­tion to guar­an­tee no front­line ser­vices at Mary­bor­ough will be sold off un­der an LNP Gov­ern­ment.

But Op­po­si­tion Leader Tim Ni­cholls said he had made it clear many times there would be no forced re­dun­dan­cies un­der an LNP gov­ern­ment and no as­set sales.

The State Gov­ern­ment spent $60,000 to re­store pathol­ogy ser­vices at Mary­bor­ough Hos­pi­tal in 2015 af­ter the ser­vice was cut un­der the LNP Gov­ern­ment in 2012.

The restora­tion of the ser­vice re­turned on-site chem­istry, haema­tol­ogy and mi­cro­bi­ol­ogy test­ing, and in­volved the ap­point­ment of two ad­di­tional staff.

The re­in­state­ment and ex­pan­sion of the ser­vice meant more than 95% of ur­gent test­ing as well as a broader range of pathol­ogy work could now be com­pleted on site.

“A Ques­tion on No­tice from the Op­po­si­tion asked how the cost of Pathol­ogy Queens­land ser­vices com­pared to pri­vate ser­vice providers, ‘to en­sure ef­fi­cient al­lo­ca­tion of tax­payer funds’,” Mr Dick said.

“The LNP wanted to sell Pathol­ogy Queens­land when they were in gov­ern­ment, and it’s clear that they want to sell it if they are elected again.

“I can as­sure the Mary­bor­ough com­mu­nity that the Palaszczuk La­bor Gov­ern­ment will not shut down ser­vices.

“Un­like the LNP, we will not pri­va­tise Pathol­ogy Queens­land and we will keep your jobs se­cure.”

Mr Ni­cholls ac­cused the gov­ern­ment of run­ning the “mother of all scare cam­paigns be­cause they have no record to run on”.

“Mean­time they con­ve­niently ig­nore that Mary­bor­ough’s sick and in­jured are be­ing left wait­ing for hours in the emer­gency depart­ment for a hos­pi­tal bed,” he said.

“Un­der La­bor, as of Au­gust 2017, 32 per cent of pa­tients need­ing ad­mis­sion to a hos­pi­tal bed were left wait­ing on stretch­ers in the Mary­bor­ough Hos­pi­tal emer­gency depart­ment for more than four hours.

“Mary­bor­ough res­i­dents de­serve bet­ter than an in­com­pe­tent La­bor Gov­ern­ment that can’t man­age vi­tal health ser­vices.”

Last week the State Gov­ern­ment an­nounced it had funded a $450,000 up­grade to Mary­bor­ough Hos­pi­tal’s fixed and mo­bile x-ray equip­ment, which will pro­vide the fa­cil­ity with tech­nol­ogy for more ef­fi­cient and more ac­cu­rate imaging and di­ag­nos­tics.

“This equip­ment is the first of its kind at a public health fa­cil­ity on the Fraser Coast,” Mr Dick said.

“This up­grade is one of many in­vest­ments to en­sure Mary­bor­ough Hos­pi­tal con­tin­ues to meet the ever-grow­ing needs of the fu­ture.”

Ja­son Whe­lan, Wide Bay Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice Di­rec­tor of Med­i­cal Imaging on the Fraser Coast, said the up­graded x-ray units en­abled high ef­fi­ciency and high pa­tient through­put due to pow­er­ful au­to­mated fea­tures.

❝Un­like the LNP, we will not pri­va­tise Pathol­ogy Queens­land and we will keep your jobs se­cure.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

UP­GRADE: Health Min­is­ter Cameron Dick with Mem­ber for Mary­bor­ough Bruce Saun­ders and Ja­son Whe­lan, Wide Bay Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice Di­rec­tor of Med­i­cal Imaging on the Fraser Coast.

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