Regional Queenslanders will also suffer as Newman government privatises health

Posted February 28, 2013 by Together Queensland

Together Secretary Alex Scott said today, “This is a dark day for our state, the Newman government is putting Queenslanders’ health at risk in favour of privatising and profits for big business.

“The Newman government is responsible for a shocking tidal wave of health privatising and it’s regional patients, their families and friends who will be among those who will suffer the affects in the months and years ahead.

“This has been done with little thought.

“There are many examples where privatising has failed and the public services have been left to pick up the pieces because quality health care was not provided for communities.

“It is the Newman government that has axed billions from health services for Queenslanders.”

Together Northern spokesperson Dr Sandy Donald said today, “It is the Newman government that has already axed hundreds of jobs and more than $20 million from health services for Cairns and northern Queensland families.

“These Newman government health cuts might not include for example tropical public health, as well as all the services that tie in such as disabilities and child protection.

“Cairns has in fact been one of the most efficient and cheapest services in spite of the very high cost base because of the location and the pattern of services that we have to provide.

“There’s no consideration about major regional referral centres which could include Townsville that may not have the economies of scale of the big Brisbane centres but also frequently cannot pass complex or difficult cases on to another hospital and therefore have to fund infrastructure to deal with almost any patients that come through the door.

“Regional centres including for example Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Biloela, Blackwater and Emerald do not have the option of transferring patients to a more specialised service.

“The Newman government is applying benchmarks to regional centres without any consideration for local circumstances and patient outcomes.

“What’s critical for regional centres, 24/7 emergency services are critical for regional centres plus training additionally also to maintain a critical number of people to make the frequency of ‘on call’ survivable.

“Selectively privatising profitable services may leave a health facility without enough staff to safely run those emergency services, it affects the quality of health care plus ability to attract and retain staff.

“Privatising not only removes more money and services from the public system but it may affect ability to provide 24/7 health care.

“Most of these cuts are being implemented by the Newman government without any discussion at all with either our community or the public health workers who know the system best.”


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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