July 22, 2022
A meeting to discuss what the State Opposition has described as a “crisis” in local health services will be held in Kingaroy next month.
The meeting, which will be held on August 9, was announced on Friday morning by Opposition Leader David Crisafulli and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington at a media conference in Brisbane.
Mrs Frecklington has encouraged South Burnett residents to take part in the “Health Crisis Meeting”.
She said it was an important opportunity to speak up and force change when it came to local hospital services.
“Every day I receive complaints from patients and staff about our local hospital services in Kingaroy, Murgon and Nanango,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“Since the opening of the new Kingaroy Hospital in early 2021, I have been asking the Labor Government questions about the staffing at the facility, problems with its construction and the lack of services we are still experiencing.
“There is no doubt that the Kingaroy Hospital is a beautiful new building, and my community deserves this investment. However, while we have shiny new hospital… it is not a guarantee that we have shiny new services.
“There is a major understaffing problem. Everyone knows that it’s the staff who ultimately deliver our health services. But there are too many short-staffed shifts, resulting in stressed and overworked doctors and nurses.
“And in relation to mental health, unfortunately our region has the highest rate of suicide in the State. Yet we still see no increase in mental health services or specific mental health beds.”
Mr Crisafulli and Shadow Minister for Health Ros Bates will be attending the meeting, which follows similar events organised by the LNP in other towns which have high levels of local health complaints, including Gympie and Caboolture.
“We want to hear people’s stories so we can keep pressing the State Government to listen and take some real action,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“Details about how to register for this important event will be available on my Facebook page soon.”
* * *
The Kingaroy forum will be the 20th “Queensland Health Crisis Town Hall” meeting organised by the LNP.
Mr Crisafulli said the LNP would take the personal experiences and stories of South Burnett residents straight to the floor of Parliament House to demand action and change.
“Our first Queensland Health Crisis Town Hall was held in Mt Gravatt in June last year,” he said.
“Since then, we’ve held town halls from Cairns to Mt Isa, Bundaberg, Ipswich and the Gold Coast to name a few.
“We’ve had some wins along the way, including locals finally getting a crucial specialist appointment, or even surgery after years of delays.
“We’re committed to supporting these communities and backing their fight for better healthcare services.”
Ms Bates said the LNP had put solutions on the table including more beds, better triage and giving power back to the frontline staff to make better decisions to improve patient care.
She said doctors, nurses, paramedics and allied healthcare workers were exhausted and deserved more respect.
“As a nurse and former hospital administrator, I know how stressful it can get for the staff who are doing everything they can to keep our hospitals running,” Ms Bates said.
“The embattled Health Minister doesn’t have a plan to fix it. What has this State Government been doing for the last seven years to improve our hospitals?”