Gympie in new health district

GYMPIE hospital will be included in the Sunshine Coast’s new Health Service District, and Member for Gympie David Gibson says that’s not good news.

Health Minister Paul Lucas yesterday announced the move to make a stand alone Sunshine Coast District, which Gympie is a part of and another for Wide Bay.

“There’s no good news in this for Gympie,” Mr Gibson said.

“The Gympie Hospital had better infrastructure and has performed better when it was in its own autonomous health district. We keep getting passed around and we keep missing out.”

With the announcement Mr Lucas said the new stand alone Sunshine Coast district would drive the expansion of health services and the new $1.97 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

But Mr Gibson said the announcement showed the State Government did not take the Gympie region seriously or identify the growth in the region.

“Services are not reflecting the growth Gympie Hospital needs to keep up with demand. Queensland Health under the current government not only struggles to pay its staff but also plan for the future,” he said.

“It’s another example of them rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic because they have no vision.”

Mr Gibson said recent upgrades to the Gympie Hospital emergency, renal and chemotherapy wards had only come about because the previous district manager had a focus on Gympie and now that focus was gone.

He said Gympie Hospital staff should be supported for the great job they did in increasingly difficult circumstances, like not getting paid or being resourced properly.

“Staff find they are having to send patients to the Coast as the resources to treat patients aren’t there,” Mr Gibson said.

“The government needs to understand its most important asset is the people working for them in this hospital and around the State.”

Mr Lucas said the new district – distinct from Wide Bay - recognised the commitment the Government and Queensland Health had to the regions.

“This region is one of the fastest growing in the State. That’s why the Bligh Government is investing in new services and infrastructure,” he said. “Nothing is more important in this regard than the development of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

“I want to ensure that the CEO, Mr Hegarty and his team, can concentrate on the development and provision of these vital new health services in this high growth area.”

The new district which is to come into effect on November 1 will be comprised of the areas covered by the Sunshine Coast and Gympie Regional Councils.

Local hospital management arrangements will remain unchanged with Directors of Nursing and Senior Doctors responsible for the day to day management of each hospital.

The new District structure aligns with the National Health and Hospitals Network Agreement and the implementation of Local Hospital Networks.

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