Hospital to benefit from growth
THE Queensland Health Minister acknowledged the Gladstone Hospital is in a unique position due to future industry development.
Speaking to The Observer yesterday, Queensland Health Minister Paul Lucas said there is no question that things such as federal approval of the LNG projects will create significant growth for Gladstone.
“I think it is totally appropriate that in our planning process we examine that and the impacts on the Gladstone Hospital and the opportunity that those increased numbers provide for us to grow further services at Gladstone,” Mr Lucas said.
“In health, the more people in the community the more you can justify the services being provided rather than having to travel elsewhere.”
State Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham said Gladstone will grow significantly with new industry and it’s incredibly important not only for staff and residents here, but also to the recruitment and retention of workers working in industry.
“They are not going to want to come to a place where the hospital only offers half the services,” Ms Cunningham said.
“I’m appreciative that the Health Minister has acknowledged in parliament and in conservations with me that the Gladstone Hospital as important.”
Mr Lucas said he has directed his department to start a planning process to examine what appropriate services should be provided, bearing in mind the projected population growth for the region in the future.
“This is important and I think the people in Gladstone have got every right to say we are getting the growth, but what is the dividend in health is well,” he said.
Australian Medical Association Capricornia representative Dr Kim Bulwinkle said Gladstone primary health services require infrastructure within which to operate.
“All of this requires considerable forward planning and proper, not token, ‘business realistic’ funding by people who actually understand the business,” he said.
Mr Lucas and Ms Cunningham will meet to discuss the Gladstone Hospital next week.