The LNP’s Emergency Department policy announced yesterday would deliver not one extra cent, not one extra clinician, and not one extra service to Innisfail or Babinda, Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said today. 

In fact, of the 27 hospitals the LNP lists as benefiting from their policy, Innisfail and Babinda miss out entirely.*

“Their policy only delivers part-time staff two days a week anyway, but Innisfail and Babinda residents would expect to at least get a mention,” Mr Pitt said.

“But now we know: the LNP plans to deliver nothing to Innisfail and Babinda Hospitals. 

“A vote for the LNP is a vote against better health services at Innisfail Emergency Department.

“Over the last three years the Queensland Government has continued to deliver more services sooner and closer to home for Innisfail locals.

“A CT scanner secured for Innisfail Hospital in 2009 at a cost of $448,000 has recorded 2,913 uses since installation in January 2010 giving local patients the benefit of having enhanced radiology services closer to home.

“Mothers and their babies in the region have benefitted through an extended midwifery service available through Innisfail Hospital, which provides a visiting service to all new mothers in the first few critical weeks after birth.

“Last year, Innisfail, Tully and Cardwell locals gained access to an internationally renowned specialist dietician for the first time with the appointment of Tony Burgos.

“Residents of Innisfail, Babinda, Tully, Mission Beach, Fishery Falls and the Aboriginal community of Jumbun were included in a pilot program to prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

“And in Babinda, we’ve put in place a medical model that increased the number of doctors in town from one to three, giving all the right to private practice and ensured the continuation of the local GP service which is now being run by Queensland Health.”

Mr Pitt said that statewide in the last three years the Labor government has hired more than 6,500 new doctors, nurses and allied health practitioners. That includes nearly 1,000 doctors, 1,500 allied health practitioners and more than 3500 nurses. 
  
“Emergency Department data shows the average wait to be seen is 20 minutes, with most urgent patients seen in one minute. 
  
“During this term the Bligh Government has opened brand new Emergency Departments and brand new hospital wards in Cairns, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Redlands, Logan, Wide Bay, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Mackay, Mt Isa, Townsville, and Thursday Island.
  
“The Labor government’s $7 billion health infrastructure program is currently building 1,700 new beds and 250 Emergency Department spaces.
  
“Queensland is number one in the nation for elective surgery, with the shortest median wait times and the smallest proportion of patients waiting too long. 
  
“Every independent report for the past three years has found that Queensland is number one in the nation for elective surgery wait times. 

“Surgery Connect is a Labor Government initiative that uses private hospitals to treat long wait surgery patients and has been in place for five years. This term we’ve spent $90 million on Surgery Connect to treat 20,000 patients. 
  
“When the LNP was last in Government, they left more than 8,500 Queenslanders waiting longer than a year.  Labor has cut that number down to less than 1,000.”

 * LNP Policy FAQ’s states, “27 of the State’s busiest hospitals across Queensland will be targeted under this initiative – Bundaberg, Caboolture, Cairns Base, Caloundra, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Gympie, Hervey Bay, Ipswich, Logan, Mackay Base, Maryborough, Mater Adult Public, Mater Children’s Public, Mount Isa, Nambour, Prince Charles, Princess Alexandra, Queen Elizabeth II, Redcliffe, Redland, Robina, Rockhampton Base, Royal Brisbane and Women’s, Royal Children’s, Toowoomba and Townsville Hospitals.”