Springborg's health reforms earns the Premier's praise
PREMIER Campbell Newman has praised Health Minister and local member Lawrence Springborg for his leadership and determination in turning around the state's once ailing health system.
He said the turnaround in the health system was one of the greatest achievements of his government.
It has been two years this week since the Liberal National Party swept into power. Mr Newman, talking exclusively to APN Newsdesk to mark the anniversary, said the health portfolio was no longer the poisoned chalice of politics.
"The Labor Party did treat health as a poisoned chalice and never went on in any meaningful way and achieved any reform," he said.
"We have a health minister who has stayed the course and seen it through.
"He has got issues at the moment and I acknowledge that with the doctor's contracts, but he has had issues with the nurse's union and the Together union and there have been all sorts of opposition to reform."
Mr Newman said the Southern Downs MP can be extremely proud of what he has achieved over the past two years for his role in turning around the ailing health system to make it one of the best performing in the nation.
"Two years ago the health system was a shambles," he said.
"Emergency departments are now far better and elective surgery waiting lists are now the best in the nation according to the Australian Medical Association," he said.
"Public dental waiting lists have also been slashed.
"The results speak for themselves and that is something we are extremely proud of.
"Queenslanders should be proud that they are seeing their health service turned around."
"It was supposedly a complete basket case and the person who said that was former Premier Anna Bligh."
Mr Newman took time to reflect on the toughest decision he faced in the first two years of office which was the task of balancing the budget and the subsequent effect it had people and communities across the state.
"That meant a whole lot of people in the public service losing their jobs," he said.
"That was really tough on all the people concerned, their families and their friends.
"We did not like having to do it, but it had to be done.
"I had the emails, I had the letters and I am really sorry it had to happen, but if it had not have happened then all Queenslanders would have been paying for government expenses that were out of control."
However, Mr Newman said he was equally proud to have achieved everything he said he would in his first term in office.
"We have got the economy going, created jobs and also reformed government so it is the best performing State Government," he said.
"Queensland's economy is now out performing other states.
"We are the lead economy nationally and all sorts of statistics support that."