CANDIDATES for the seat of Gladstone have answered the question, 'What would you do to improve services at Gladstone Hospital?' in the lead-up to the state election on Saturday.
This is the second in a series of 'big question' issues we'll be featuring.
Glenn Butcher, ALP
OUR local hospital needs immediate attention.
It is not acceptable that we do not have an intensive care unit. People should not have to drive all the way to Rockhampton every time they need to see an injured or ill loved one.
Our hospital has lost 23 full-time equivalent healthcare professionals since Campbell Newman took office and we've lost 197 across Central Queensland. during that time.
We have lost professionals in oncology, our emergency department, intensive care high-dependency unit, peri-operative (care before, during and after surgery) and infection control.
This is putting additional pressure on our hospitals with damaging results for families.
Labor will ensure our hospitals are appropriately staffed and have committed to 4000 new places for nurses over the next four years.
Campbell Newman has promised more hospital staff if he is re-elected, but if we want to know if we can trust Newman on jobs in the future, we should look to what he has done to jobs over the last three years in Queensland, with record unemployment and over 14,000 public servants sacked including nurses and health professionals.
Campbell Newman cannot be trusted on reliable healthcare in our community.
Craig Butler, independent
I KNOW our community needs a hospital that is able to offer a complete range of health care services. Bed capacity must also be sufficient to allow patient treatment locally.
Health services that I will fight for include: general medical and dental, general surgical, general anesthetics, obstetrics and gynaecology, pediatrics, orthopedics
Surgeons, doctors and nurses to support these services must also be employed in sufficient numbers so that standard rosters are worked.
This is important so staff can be retained in the hospital for extended contract periods.
Good health care services are vital for our region to support families, business and industry.
Young families looking to move to our region will look to health care as one of the key services that will influence their decision.
A complete range of health care services is vital for our community, and will contribute toward the improved liveability of the region, and to attracting and retaining a strong and qualified workforce for regional business and industry.
Michael Duggan, LNP
CENTRAL Queensland regional health and hospital services are structured to maximise services to the whole region, including Gladstone.
However, the Gladstone Hospital has not been comprehensively invested in under the current Government, Labor or Independent MPs for over 30 years.
The Health Minister did commit $500,000 for the re-design of the emergency department in mid-2014.
I support attracting more services to our local hospital, but accept that this will come at the cost of reducing some specialist services currently provided in Rockhampton so that Gladstone will benefit.
If elected, I would advocate for this in investment, and that the Rosella Park School located on state-owned land adjacent to the hospital, and already identified as requiring upgrading and/or re-building of a new facility, be identified as a hospital expansion site, plans commenced for the upgrade and expansion of the hospital and the school to be rebuilt at another location.
Craig Tomsett, Greens
GLADSTONE Hospital: Roof and windows that leak. Not enough power-points for new equipment. Lack of modern technology due to inadequate data cabling.
We will once again this year spend approximately $10 million on upgrades to our hospital.
Half-a-million dollars has been set aside for a detailed plan for a new emergency department, which if built would require $80 to $100 million to construct.
No funding has been approved for the construction of this project.
Over the last 10 years, funding has actually increased every year but our hospital infrastructure is so inefficient that the rises in funding are eaten up by a loss in productivity due to these inefficiencies.
The reality is that we can continue to throw money at an outdated, unproductive and inefficient hospital that will cost us $300 million in continuing upgrades over the next 10 years, or invest $500 to $600 million in a brand new hospital on the same grounds.
This means recurring funding can go wholly to patient care instead of maintenance and upgrades on outdated infrastructure.
The Queensland Greens support the building of a new hospital in Gladstone.