Labor promises $11m cardiac theatre for Rocky hospital
A STATE-OF-THE-ART cardiac theatre will be built at Rockhampton Hospital under a Labor Government, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says.
Mr Shorten will today pledge to improve heart care for the people of Central Queensland by investing $11.1 million to deliver a Hybrid Cardiac Catheterisation Theatre if elected.
While Central Queensland's population is booming, Mr Shorten says Rockhampton Hospital does not have the best possible facilities to diagnose and treat heart conditions.
It means 1400 Central Queenslanders travel to Brisbane for these services every year - costing taxpayers $3 million for patient transfers.
"The people of Central Queensland deserve better," Mr Shorten said.
"Labor will give Rockhampton Hospital patients the facilities they need by investing $11.1 million to deliver a Hybrid Cardiac Catheterisation Theatre.
"The investment will also deliver six cardiac ward beds and six recovery beds.
"This commitment also includes a $380,000 investment to increase cardiac capacity at the Gladstone Hospital."
Opposition Health spokeswoman Catherine King said an independent report prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers earlier this year confirmed the need for improvement.
This investment will also reduce pressure on other parts of the hospital, Ms King said.
The Ballarat MP said Labor had a proud record of delivering healthcare for the people of Rockhampton.
"When last in office we invested $76 million to expand Rockhampton Hospital," Ms King said.
"Labor believes it should be your Medicare card, not your credit card, which determines your access to great health care in Australia."
Labor Candidate for Capricornia, Russell Robertson, said he fully endorsed the move.
"This announcement is a big win for Central Queensland and a big win for the Rockhampton Hospital," Mr Robertson said.
"I'm proud to have been able to successfully lobby Bill Shorten for this vital project that will improve the healthcare Central Queenslanders rely on."