Labor pledges to cut waiting times
LABOR has pledged $ 154 million to further reduce specialist hospital waiting lists.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement at Townsville Hospital’s children’s ward yesterday, saying Labor had already significantly slashed waiting times since 2015.
“When we came into office, over 104,000 people were waiting,” she said. “What we have seen over our huge investment of over $ 361 million, we have been able to bring that list down to around 38,447.”
It is understood two thirds of that committed will go towards additional appointments and surgeries, giving GPs the option to refer patients to allied health services as an alternative to specialists and speeding up the referral process.
An IT platform would be created under a reelected Labor government so patients could book appointments themselves and an app would also be built, allowing doctors to switch to electronic rather than paper and fax referrals.
Ms Palaszczuk slammed cost- cutting under the former Newman government.
“They sacked nurses. My government invests in people,” she said.
The announcement brings state Labor’s health election promises to $ 1 billion. Ms Palaszczuk has refused to detail costings, saying they will be released before Queenslanders head to the polls, despite pre- polling opening yesterday.