Government manipulation of waiting lists

Posted July 18, 2014 by Together Queensland

Together Secretary Alex Scott said today, “This government is focused on press releases about statistics and waiting lists, not patients, not quality, and certainly not health outcomes.

“There are great risks with hospital staff being encouraged to focus on pleasing the government by manipulating the waiting lists rather than putting patients first.

“The government approach to Medical Imaging in hospitals is worth examining. 

“It is obvious that Medical imaging and review of plain film X-rays is critical for quality patient care. Medical imaging is concerned with getting the diagnosis correct. It is not much use climbing the treatment ladder if it is leaning up against the wrong wall. Let's have an example of the Newman government approach, as against best practice.

“In some of the premiere health care institutions in the world Medical Imaging occupies up to 20% of a Health Service budget.

“In some of Queensland’s largest and most complex hospitals, Medical Imaging represents less than 5% of the hospital budget.

“Simply stated, the resources are not being invested in Medical Imaging to have all films reviewed by a specialist. Who knows what damage that causes. The funds to the staff that ensure quality and safety are inadequate as well.

“Having specialist radiologists review and report the imaging, ensures that patient care is monitored, the correct diagnosis is determined, and any additional conditions are identified.

“Queensland Health has seen an increase in radiologists reviewing films since changes introduced 8 years ago under the previous government, but more needs to be done.

“However, the difficulty the current government may now face is in attracting and retaining specialist radiologists. The attempts to force specialists on to unfair contracts has left many specialists unwilling to stay here, or to come and work in Queensland Health.

“The Government needs to address both these critical issues: restore faith with their specialist medical workforce; and invest more, properly targeted funds, in our health care, not less.” 


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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