Budget's health ’boost’

AS HOSPITAL workers across the state were given their marching orders yesterday, there was boasting in State Government ranks about a "record budget" for Queensland's health services.

The State Government claims an extra $816 million will compliment an $11.862 billion funding commitment to improve services and reduce waiting lists in the next two years.

Hospitals in Mackay, Rockhampton and Ipswich will receive the largest slice of the extra funding.

Kingaroy, Emerald and Roma will be among the rural towns to benefit from a $51.6 million project to fund emergency repairs at hospitals in remote areas.

Mr Springborg also said the additional funding would ensure more staff were available at weekends and open up at least 40,000 specialist appointments.

The funding announcements were expected to be quickly followed by shedding of at least 1000 Queensland Health jobs.

Queensland Nurses Union Secretary Beth Mohle said there had already been "devastation across the state" since public service job cuts were first announced last week.

She also said it should come as no surprise that health expenditure again came out on top as it was the fastest growing industry in the state.

Australian Medical Association secretary Dr Alex Markwell gave the budget a "d" for disappointment and questioned how the government planned to deliver the services it had promised funding to when "nearly every preventive and public health officer was made redundant last Friday".

She said the budget lacked any detail about how hospitals and other services would cope with fewer staff.

Regional health

  • $31.7 million to $8 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital
  • $84.7 million to $408.3 million Mackay Hospital redevelopment
  • $35 million in joint funding to $156.6 million Rockhampton Hospital upgrade
  • $60 million to $122 million Ipswich Hospital expansion
  • $8 million to upgrade Emerald Hospital
  • $8.5 million to upgrade Caboolture Hospital
  • $7.2 million to upgrade Biloela Hospital
  • $2.3 million to upgrade Sarina Hospital
  • $2 million to improve health facilities at Kingaroy Hospital
  • $3 million to upgrade health facilities at Roma


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