Protesters rally against change in services
GLADSTONE Hospital staff are concerned about the pain their patients could feel if the private sector gets involved in medical imaging services.
Community members joined staff at the hospital yesterday to rally against outsourcing services in the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service, following a similar rally held in Rockhampton on Monday.
But the health service said residents had made it clear they wanted local services expanded, and a private provider could do just that - but ruled out further community consultation on the issue.
United Voice delegate Sam Horniblow, a radiographer/sonographer with more than 20 years' experience, said she was worried because the private sector was there to make a profit, "that's what they're about".
"If they have a full list in their department, wherever that may be, they may start sending their private patients onto our list which will cause a longer waiting list for our patients," she said.
"We also see down the line someone has to pay for that profit, which could be an increased cost to Queensland Health or they may pass it on to the patient - that again is a disaster."
Gladstone Region deputy mayor Matt Burnett said the hospital was slowly being degraded over the past decade.
"We're no longer a base, we're just part of the 'hub and spoke' model from Rockhampton," he said.
"They're supposed to have five staff in there at the moment…they're already undermanned and understaffed."
But CQHHS ceo Len Richards said the aim was to increase services, not decrease costs.