Independent Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham discusses the future of Gladstone health services with Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg in April.
Independent Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham discusses the future of Gladstone health services with Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg in April. Tom Huntley

Gladstone MP presents budget reply to state parliament

MEMBER for Gladstone Liz Cunningham has thanked the State Government for its contributions made in this week's budget, but said there was more the local community needed.

Speaking in state parliament on Thursday night, Mrs Cunningham said health was an issue of prime concern.

She said a number of initiatives had been funded in the budget, including the establishment of an acute primary care centre to help lighten the load on the Gladstone Hospital emergency department and after-hours presentations.

Mrs Cunningham said a number of services that were provided by the hospital had gone to Medicare Local, but there was still confusion over who was providing what.

"I think Medicare Local has a lot of work to do to get the message out to the community that things like diabetic education, diabetic health and podiatry services have moved from the hospital to Medicare Local," she said.

"I still believe that Queensland Health have the responsibility to pick up where those services are not provided, because in the case of diabetes, the lack of early intervention means very serious problems down the track for both patients and the health service."

Mrs Cunningham also spoke about the welcome funding to upskill nursing staff to support the early return of babies back to Gladstone Hospital.

"We recently had a very, very sad case where a young couple lost their baby. The mother was told that she could not be treated at Gladstone because of her BMI," she said.

"I certainly do not believe that she is a person who could be regarded as obese. She was sent to Rockhampton, turned away from the Rockhampton Hospital and she subsequently lost the baby.

"There are ongoing investigations into the matter. But rather than moving babies and mothers up to Rockhampton, we should be improving the service that is available in Gladstone. This is the start of it."

Mrs Cunningham told the parliament two senior medical officers had been recruited, and the Gladstone Hospital was working with the Mater Hospital to jointly appoint two paediatricians to start in January.

"One of the things that became apparent during the minister's visit was the willingness of the Mater Hospital to work with the Gladstone Base Hospital in these joint appointments," she said.

"It is a win-win for everybody. Both hospitals get the necessary specialists.

"A specialist on their own is isolated and overworked. If you can get a couple of specialists - even three or four - and rostering is able to be done so that none of the specialists gets burnt out, and then share that between the Mater Hospital and the public hospital, it gives great coverage to the community and it gives great experience and opportunity to the specialists. I think it is an excellent result for everybody."

Mrs Cunningham also spoke about funding for ambulance centres at Gladstone and Calliope, education, housing, water infrastructure, Gladstone harbour, policing, the Kin Kora rouondabout and Royalties for Regions.

Read Mrs Cunningham's full speech here. 



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