Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk discusses the current COVID-19 situation at Gladstone Hospital’s new Emergency Department.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk discusses the current COVID-19 situation at Gladstone Hospital’s new Emergency Department.

How will Mater be staffed after takeover?

CENTRAL Queensland Hospital and Health Service says it can't answer questions about job losses involved with the purchase of the Mater because a sevice delivery model is still being finalised.

The Observer asked CQHHS several questions about the impact of the purchase on staff and jobs at the Mater.

A CQHHS spokeswoman said a new service delivery model was being determined through negotiations with private health providers about the needs of patients.

The purchase of the hospital was first touted by Federal Labor as an election promise in March last year.

Then on April 9 this year, the Queensland Government announced it was purchasing the Mater Hospital with much fanfare, when Deputy Premier Steven Miles was joined by Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher and Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young.

"I want to thank Glenn Butcher - he's been relentless in looking for a way to secure this hospital and now we have found a way," Mr Miles said.

"This announcement will ensure the Mater remains open and providing care for CQ locals."

At the time, Manufacturing and Regional Development Minister, Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher said the purchase would complement the new $42 million Emergency Department.

"I have called for some time for the government to buy the Gladstone Mater for future expansion," he said.

"We are already building the new Gladstone Hospital Emergency Department, which saw a new and refurbished ED, and I'm excited about this new prospect as well."

A CQHHS spokeswoman said the decision to purchase the Gladstone Mater Hospital site was an investment in health infrastructure and services to ensure "we can grow as the community does."

"This move also puts us in the unique position to retain a number of qualified and experienced staff from the Mater, who may otherwise have been out of the job due to the cessation of the facility," she said.

"CQ Health is engaging with private medical service providers who currently provide patient care from Gladstone Mater to determine their expectations and needs following the closure of the private facility.

 

CQHHS board members and hospital staff at the opening of the new Gladstone Hospital emergency department on August 5, 2020.
CQHHS board members and hospital staff at the opening of the new Gladstone Hospital emergency department on August 5, 2020.

 

"Those discussions will contribute to a final service delivery model - what services can be provided in a safe and sustainable manner," the spokeswoman said.

"That model of care will determine future staffing requirements from the Gladstone Hospital campus.

"While we are not able to integrate all positions into our existing workforce, more opportunities will arise as the health service continues to grow.

"For example, the opening of the new Gladstone Hospital Emergency Department last week resulted in an additional 32 FTE staff.

"Twenty-one new staff started in the last two weeks, and some positions are currently advertised for recruitment.

"CQ Health encourages Gladstone Mater staff to apply for any vacant positions.

"Queensland Health continues to be one of the largest employers in the state, and one of the largest in Gladstone and surrounds.

"We have over 3955 qualified health and support services staff in the Central Queensland region, with over 252 new positions (including 124 COVID related positions) added in 2019-20."



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