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Queensland Health Crisis Town Hall – Bribie Island

By Alistair Gray

A crowd of about 100 people turned out on Wednesday 20th July to share their stories about the quality of local health care with Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli and his LNP team. Moderating the meeting was Andrew Powell MP, Member for Glass House, and attending was Terry Young MP, Member for Longman. David Crisafulli and Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates have been running a series of Town Hall meetings around the State as they develop the Oppositions Health Policy and hear from the ground up what is really happening out there. They have collected many stories to tell on the floor of Parliament to support their claims of systemic failure in the health system and their recommendations for change. Unfortunately, Ros Bates MP was ill and unable to make this Town Hall meeting.

The tone of the meeting was professional and both warm and caring, particularly regarding universal care for the health and welfare of all the health professionals, doctors, nurses, and other health professionals who have been under immense strain and pressure. We heard stories of nurses in tears, many at breaking point, and who have had enough of dealing with a broken system. Many want to give their careers away but know they can’t act as that will only worsen the current problem.

We listened to stories of the long ambulance wait times. How a man in his eighties had to wait hours for help following a fall. There were comments about the state of Caboolture Hospital and how residents drive past the hospital, to hospitals north or south, for care rather than getting care there. There were examples of mistakes made. Almost inevitable when doctors are under so much pressure. Significant concerns were raised by the lack of GPs on Bribie, notably the complete lack of after-hours care. Often patients with immediate needs were forced to attend the hospital when local after-hours GP services would have been sufficient. The stories and examples of system failure were numerous. The meeting was unhappy with the Labor Government’s proposed Satellite Hospital for Bribie, with many concerns expressed. A hospital without beds, a set of specialist rooms and day clinics. No emergency department or intensive care unit. The government’s definition of a Satellite Hospital wasn’t meeting the ‘pub test’. It is seen misleading and dangerous and creates misunderstandings. David Crisafulli outlined the LNP plans to fix the Health System. These plans included-

  • The establishment of a real-time data system in emergency departments to enable better and immediate resource allocation to problem areas.

  • More resource allocation.

  • Streamlining of triaging when patients arrive at emergency departments.

  • Putting Doctors and Nurses back in charge to enable better patient outcomes.

  • More beds.

The constructive meeting provided valuable feedback as the LNP continues its fight for a significantly improved health system.

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