Labor plans to set up $24.5m drug, alcohol rehab service
LABOR will spend a further $22 million on the current redevelopment of Ipswich Hospital as well as establish a new alcohol and drug rehabilitation service for the city if re-elected.
Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles made the announcement in Ipswich on Friday, commiting another $46.5 million towards local health services ahead of the October 31 state election.
He said the extra funding was on top of the $146 million already committed by the government for the stage one expansion of the hospital, with $11 million to be spent on expanding the emergency department.
"(This) will deliver more paediatric treatment spaces and create a dedicated mental health area," Mr Miles said.
"This investment will boost capacity in the busy emergency department and deliver additional dedicated paediatric spaces for our smallest patients."
Another $9.3 million will be spent on a dedicated obstetric theatre and $1.7 million on expanding capacity for renal dialysis and nephrology services.
Mr Mile said $24.5 million will be invested in a new Alcohol and Other Drug Withdrawal Management and Rehabilitation Service for the region if Annastacia Palaszczuk retains power.
During the election campaign so far, Labor has said it will also invest $40 million into building a satellite hospital in Ipswich and hire 454 more local frontline health staff over the next four years if it is re-elected.
West Moreton is the fastest growing region in Queensland with the population expected to swell to 587,000 by 2036.
The number of people living in the Ipswich local government area is set to surge from 222,000 to 558,000 by 2041.
Ensuring health services and infrastructure keeps up with that growth is paramount.
The number of public hospital admissions in West Moreton is expected to rise 207 per cent by 2036-37.
The new rehab service would include 10 withdrawal management beds and 35 residential rehabilitation beds.
"I understand there's been a need for some time," Mr Miles said.
"It was in recent weeks that these (West Moreton Health) staff really did put that case to us that they desperately needed this facility.
"We want to partner with (a non-governmental organisation) so we can get the full range of services within the facility so we'll need to do that as well.
"In the past we've been able to get these projects from funding commitment to open within two years.
"This will be a very large facility, one of the larger ones that we've invested in.
"It will take pressure off the hospital, it will take the pressure off other services in the area and it will allow us to be treating up to 45 people at any given time."
Ipswich MP said the city had been "crying out for ages" for such a service.
"It just ticks every box for this community," she said.
"We have been in need of this for quite some time.
"We've got amazing hardworking staff locally who've been doing an exceptional job managing vulnerable people in our community.
"Having this in our community will make all the difference."
Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.