Health con­cerns

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

LIKE many in our lo­cal com­mu­nity I hold grave fears for the fu­ture of Queens­land Health fol­low­ing an­nounce­ments this week that Health Min­is­ter Lawrence Spring­borg will fur­ther shirk re­spon­si­bil­ity for our hos­pi­tals.

The new ar­range­ment will see LNP ap­pointed re­gional hospi­tal boards put in a po­si­tion where they can sack staff and sell as- sets with no com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion. With his on­go­ing dis­pute with Queens­land nurses clearly at the front of his mind, Mr Spring­borg is again try­ing to dis­tance him­self from de­ci­sions in­volv­ing front­line staff.

The hard truth is that shift­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity to re­gional boards will fo­cus boards on meet­ing min­is­te­rial sta­tis­tics to se­cure fund­ing.

The only things that count from the Min­is­ter’s point of view are wait­ing times for elec­tive surgery, wait­ing times in emer­gency de­part­ments and am­bu­lance ramp­ing so ev­ery­thing else will fall to the way­side. De­liv­er­ing com­mu­nity health ser­vices, ad­vo­cat­ing for dis­ease preven­tion or de­liv­er­ing chronic dis­ease man­age­ment will be given no pri­or­ity what-so-ever.

If re­gions fall un­der short-term budget pres­sure, trans­fer of as­sets mean they can sell these as­sets with­out pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion, sack even more staff or out­source ser­vices at the cost of pro­vid­ing proper care for pa­tients.

The New­man Govern­ment and the LNP Mem­ber for Whit­sun­day are fail­ing in their prom­ise to Queens­lan­ders and run­ning from the re­spon­si­bil­ity that comes with be­ing a Pre­mier and a Mem­ber who stands up for their re­gion.


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