Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd is concerned doctors will abandon Gladstone due to the lack of facilities. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd is concerned doctors will abandon Gladstone due to the lack of facilities. Picture: Rodney Stevens

O’Dowd concerned doctors will abandon Gladstone

“I FEEL the Gladstone region is missing out and lack the ability to attract and retain the specialists and the services that they offer due to the lack of hospital facilities.”

Those are the words of Federal Member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd, who is seriously concerned doctors will abandon Gladstone and the 70,000 people serviced by the hospital.

Mr O’Dowd said he has written a letter to State Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher and the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service CQHHS concerning the facilities and the alleged “triple dipping” of fees.

“I feel the Gladstone region is missing out and lack the ability to attract and retain the specialists and the services that they offer. It is common practice for Gladstone people to seek medical attention in other centres such as Rockhampton, Bundaberg and Brisbane,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“I believe, one of the reasons why the Gladstone Mater Hospital could not operate at a profit was because of the unlevel playing field.

“The Queensland Health Department continue to double dip, and in some cases triple dip, into available funding opportunities.

“Taking money from the Federal Government, private health insurers and fees obtained from doctors to use facilities.”

The Morrison Government announced the establishment of a cancer clinic bringing a much-needed service to Gladstone along with a recently funded bulk billing MRI Medical imaging licence in Gladstone that will benefit many throughout our whole region.

Mr O’Dowd said Gladstone Hospital deserved to be a level four facility to service its catchment of 70,000 patients.

READ: Resident worried about private health options in Gladstone

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Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk inspects the new $42 million Gladstone Hospital emergency department with MP Glenn Butcher and Director of Nursing Sandy Munro.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk inspects the new $42 million Gladstone Hospital emergency department with MP Glenn Butcher and Director of Nursing Sandy Munro.

“I am told by local senior doctors who practice in Gladstone that the upgrading of the base hospital from a level 3 to a level 4 hospital would go a long way to solving the shortage,” he said.

“The ‘waiting list’ to see a doctor in this region is most unsatisfactory and would also encourage more qualified medical staff to our Hospital.”

“The Federal Government is increasing funding to the State Governments, on an annual basis, to run our public health system.

“I will continue to work with Minister Hunt and Minister Coulton at a federal level to bring Gladstone Hospital into the 21st century.”

When Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited the new $42 million Gladstone Hospital Emergency Department on July 8, The Observer asked questions about upgrading the hospital the a level four facility.

Mr Butcher assured The Observer there was a timeline for the upgrade of the hospital to level four, which would be completed before the year 2030.

RELATED COVERAGE:

Doctor concerns: ‘QLD Health to charge us to use Mater’

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