All are failing but that doesn't make it ok
IT'S THE report card everyone expected but nobody wanted.
The 2009 Australian Medical Association report card has this week confirmed that health services across the nation are in a bad way and the Fraser Coast does not escape.
Regional hospitals are struggling to cope with patient flow, the report says. Timely access to outpatient services also remains inadequate. Many people are now left on a “waiting list” to get on the waiting list.
Since July 2008 the total number of available beds increased by 76 in the whole of Queensland.
“We're no different to the whole lot,” AMA Fraser Coast president Shaun Rudd said.
Dr Rudd spotlighted “over-burgeoning bureaucracy” as an underlying reason for the continuing ailments that afflict the health system.
He suggested the time may have come for one layer of government to handle the health system but acknowledged that it did not represent a guaranteed solution.
“It might be a way to stop the blame game,” he said.
“It's a shame that public hospitals have been allowed to get where they are. It's always the poor and the powerless that suffer, the unemployed and the elderly.
“It (the report card) makes people aware that it is not getting better and it will probably get worse until someone makes a decision on spending more efficiently.”
Dr Rudd paid tribute to the medical staff at the Hervey Bay and Maryborough hospitals.
“They do a remarkable job to keep things from falling down like a house of cards.”
Chair of the Fraser Coast Health Focus Group Gerard O'Connell has stressed the importance of keeping up the fight for a proper health service here.
“No one should be lulled into a sense of c'est la vie, we're all in the same boat. Just because we benchmark with the rest of Australia with a bad health service does not allow us to become complacent and accept it.”
Mr O'Connell renewed his call for a local management model to address health service problems on the Fraser Coast.
“There's no point closing beds in Maryborough that are not going to be opened in Hervey Bay. The politics of health management is getting in the way of health service.”