QUEENSLAND Health Minister Lawrence Springborg has told Parliament the Gladstone Hospital some "ongoing challenges" that need to be solved.
Responding to a Question from Independent member for Gladstone yesterday, the minister also acknowledged a problem of "morale" at the hospital.
"One of the things that is needed is a significant amount of investment, I think, from a leadership point of view in ensuring that some of the issues that surround morale at the Gladstone Hospital in the way that it actually views itself in the context of the overall Central Queensland health region are addressed so that morale can be lifted to a particular higher level," he said on Wednesday.
"This is one of the challenges of course. There are great people there in Gladstone, as the honourable member for Gladstone (Liz Cunningham) knows, doing a good job in the hospital, and there certainly are some issues that do need to be addressed."
"One of the most important things when it comes to the delivery of health services in Queensland now, whether it be under our predecessors with the establishment of local hospital and health networks or under us with the establishment of hospital and health services, is that matters to do with the planning and the day-to-day running of clinical services at a hospital are best dealt with by the hospital board."
"I say to the honourable member for Gladstone that, when it comes to the issue of deciding what the service level capabilities will be there, the health service level planning is certainly going to be done at a local level with the hospital board."
"I understand that in the last 12 to 24 hours some issues and concerns have been raised that the local hospital board has limited power to operate in the field of developing a health services plan for its hospital district and that it only has the power to hire and fire the chief executive officer."
"I can assure you, Madam Speaker, that, along with the ability to dismiss its chief executive officer if they are not living up to the expectation of the board or the community, the hospital board has the power, has the authority, to be able to work out a health services plan that meets the needs and expectations of that local community in conjunction with that local community."
"One of the challenges we have in Gladstone, and something that is going to have to be looked at, is that the presentations through the ED actually present that hospital at a higher level than what actually happens with regard to admissions."
"I understand that the presentations through the ED would indicate that it should be a level 4, and I stand to be corrected if that is not the case, but the level then of in-patient admissions indicates that it should be a level 3."
"There have been some improvements in recent times in Gladstone Hospital. There have certainly been some investments assisted by the private sector or the mining sector in a range of areas, and we will keep building on more in the future."