Gladstone ‘needs a level 4 hospital to attract doctors’
ATTRACTING doctors to the Gladstone region is only possible if hospital facilities are safe for medical professionals to operate in and are upgraded to level four, says a local doctor.
The sad fact, a local doctor who asked not to be named said, is that Gladstone is referred to as a resources and economic powerhouse of the state, but it has appallingly inadequate medical facilities.
What is even sadder, the doctor said, was that Gladstone was perfectly positioned with a public and private hospital on the same campus, which had never worked together.
“Doctors all over the state and around Australia know what it’s like in Gladstone, and it’s not good,” the doctor said.
“Ten doctors from the Gladstone region have moved in the last few years.
“The operating theatres in Gladstone Hospital are so small that specialists can’t even get their equipment in there to work safely.”
Since 2014, Gladstone Hospital has had nine directors of Medical Services:
2014/2015 – Nicki Murdock, 2015/2016 – Tim Smart, 2016 – Jennifer King, 2016/2017 – Sharon Miskell, 2017 – John Gallichio, 2018 – Partha Baruah, 2018 – Annette Turley, 2019 – Deepak Doshi, 2020 – Dr Dilip Kumar.
The Observer has confirmed only Dr Annette Turley still works for CQHHS, while every other highly qualified doctor has relocated throughout Australia or overseas.
“That alone, with nine directors of medical services in six or seven years says that there is bad management,” the doctor said.
Currently, the doctor said Gladstone Hospital had tiny operating theatres, which would never attract specialists, no ICU and not enough beds.
“The plan is, by buying the Mater, we get the ICU, we get the larger operating theatres and we get the beds that Gladstone needs,” the doctor said.
“But what they (CQHHS) do is just close the shop for six to eight weeks so all private services are gone.
“I think the CQHHS has the moral duty to ensure the people of Gladstone have these services available.”
The doctor said the CQHHS was funded with taxpayers money, so they should ensure the people of Gladstone did not continue to be left out of funding, that went to Rockhampton or elsewhere.
The purchase of the Mater Hospital was by Queensland Health, the doctor said, which was an entirely separate entity to CQHHS, according to the QLD Health Services Act.
“The process of buying the Mater Hospital is good, but the question remains, when will the people of Gladstone get the services they need,” the doctor said.
“The idea was if you buy the Mater Hospital you instantly have larger theatres, more beds and the space to build an Intensive Care Unit ICU.
“They (CQHHS) can do two things now, start to implement services that we need, or not do that.”
The principal idea behind the purchase of the Mater Hospital by Queensland Health, the doctor said, was to ensure adequate facilities in Gladstone.
“Queensland Health bought the Mater to get those larger theatres and to get an ICU up and running,” the doctor said.
“So when are you going to do that?”
CQHHS was contacted for comment.