Babinda Hospital will continue to provide medical services for the local community, Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt confirmed today.

Mr Pitt said contrary to comments made by the Member for Kennedy, there were no plans to downgrade medical services at Babinda Hospital.

“This is something we have consistently reiterated to the community at public meetings to discuss future models of health service delivery in Babinda,” Mr Pitt said.

“Together with Queensland Health, we have continued to work hard to ensure we have a sustainable model of care in place for the current and future delivery of health services in Babinda.

“This includes commencing a recruitment process to employ three doctors to work at Babinda Hospital and in the town’s private General Practice to ensure continuity of care in meeting the health needs of the community.

“The recruitment of these doctors means three Queensland Health doctors working in Babinda – more than ever before. This is a clear sign the State Government is committed to enhancing, not downgrading, local medical services.”

Mr Pitt said interviews for the three doctor positions at Babinda were held on 1 December and the recruitment process is being finalised.

“There was a large applicant pool and Queensland Health is hopeful the successful applicants will start early in the New Year,” he said.

Mr Pitt said if Mr Katter had any real basis for his claims, he should come clean and lay it on the table.

“At no stage has Mr Katter written to me, as the State Member responsible for Babinda, to raise these concerns,” Mr Pitt said.

“Instead, he chose to raise his concerns through the media in another example of his ongoing campaign of fear and diversion.

“Mr Katter may have mastered the art of distraction, but he has in the process been consigned to the political wilderness.

“This puts the people of Kennedy at a disadvantage as they don’t have a member who has a strong voice in the Rudd Government to advocate for projects, or a member who is capable of working constructively with his State counterparts.

Mr Pitt said he would continue to work closely with Queensland Health and other stakeholders to ensure appropriate health services were being delivered to the community.