Hospi­tal fund­ing

The Western Star - - OPINION NEWS -

I RE­FER to the Let­ter to Edi­tor Hospi­tal Fund­ing.

In Au­gust 2012 the LNP when in gov­ern­ment pub­licly re­leased re­ports hid­den by the Bligh La­bor Gov­ern­ment (in which both the cur­rent Premier (Palaszczuk) and Health Min­is­ter (Dick) served as Cab­i­net Min­is­ters) in re­la­tion to the par­lous state of re­gional hospi­tal in­fra­struc­ture.

The Roma Hospi­tal was one of those hos­pi­tals.

The LNP im­me­di­ately com­mit­ted $51.8 mil­lion in ur­gent up­grades to get the ball rolling on re­new­ing in­fra­struc­ture at th­ese hos­pi­tals, in­clud­ing Roma.

Not only did the LNP ini­ti­ate the Roma Hospi­tal project, we re­leased the hid­den re­ports, ap­pointed the SWHHS Board and de­liv­ered ur­gent fund­ing.

I in­sti­gated, even prior to be­ing elected, vis­its to the Roma Hospi­tal by then Min­is­ter for Health Lawrence Spring­borg so he was fully in­formed of the need for a new hospi­tal, which he com­mit­ted to and over­saw per­son­ally.

Any claim to the con­trary is from those who clearly were only in­ter­ested their own po­lit­i­cal am­bi­tions and not the health and re­newal of fa­cil­i­ties in our re­gion.

In 2014 the SWHHS Board an­nounced that the “es­ti­mated cost of a new hospi­tal for Roma is be­tween $90 and $99 mil­lion.”

I in­sti­gated the visit to the Roma Hospi­tal by Shadow Min­is­ter for Health Mark McAr­dle who at the time joined my call for a new Roma Hospi­tal.

In Jan­uary 2016 the State La­bor Gov­ern­ment an­nounced at $70 mil­lion re­place­ment Roma Hospi­tal – some $20 mil­lion short of the SWHHS es­ti­mate.

The fund­ing has since been in­creased in Septem­ber 2017 to $90.4 mil­lion and it is my role to as lo­cal mem­ber to ques­tion the State Gov­ern­ment – why did they short change this project?

I have con­sis­tently and gen­uinely cham­pi­oned the need for a new Roma Hospi­tal for some years – it dis­ap­points me that oth­ers in our com­mu­nity are con­fused and play­ing pol­i­tics with this ma­jor as­set for our re­gion. — Ann Leahy

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