Troubled hospital to get $29m extra under Shorten
ONE of the worst performing hospitals in Queensland will get an extra boost as Labor ramps up its campaign to seize the ultra-marginal seat of Forde.
Under a plan to be announced today, Labor will pledge to spend $29.1 million on Logan Hospital to build an extra floor and a new 32-bed ward.
The measure, which includes space to allow the new ward to double its bed capacity in the future, aims to slash backlogs at emergency.
Logan's emergency department has one of the worst wait times in the state and patients frequently are not seen within clinically recommended times.
Queensland Health has already mapped out a plan to expand the hospital in stages to cope with increasing demand in the fast growing region.
The Palaszczuk Government has pledged $281 million commitment to Stage 1 of the plan that will include 190 extra beds over the next three years.
Federal Labor's pledge is on top of this and will fund the beginning of Stage 2 of the project.
Both sides of politics have already backed a $33.4 million plan for an Urgent and Specialist Care Centre, which will divert patients who show up to the hospital with urgent but not life threatening conditions.
The hospital is already a central part of Labor's pitch to win the seat of Forde, which the Liberal National Party holds by a wafer-thin 0.7 per cent margin.
Labor's candidate Des Hardman is a radiographer who has worked at the hospital for more than a decade and is basing a lot of his campaign on promises to improve health services for the region.
"I've been at the coalface of healthcare in this community for nearly 14 years," Mr Hardman said.
"The $6.1 million ripped out of the Logan Hospital by Scott Morrison has had a real impact on local services. I see it every day."
His claim of a $6.1 million cut is based on higher Commonwealth funding for hospitals promised by the Gillard government.
But the Coalition did not agree to this funding model and disputes the claim of a cut because there has been increased hospital spending every year they have been in government.
Bill Shorten will not be in Logan for the announcement as he aims at seats higher up the pendulum.
But his health spokeswoman Catherine King, who will make the announcement, said the facility faced pressures from a fast growing and ageing population.