Demise a disgrace, says MP Neville
THE DEMISE of health services on the Fraser Coast was yesterday labelled a disgrace by member for Hinkler Paul Neville.
The federal MP was reacting to the news that St Stephen’s Private Hospital could close in Maryborough, paving the way for a new $50 million hospital to open in Hervey Bay.
“It’s ridiculous. What is happening at Maryborough and Hervey Bay is indicative of a lack of leadership.
“It’s a disgrace it’s been allowed to go on for years and years.
“If St Stephen’s goes to Hervey Bay, what sort of medical infrastructure will they have in Maryborough, a town of almost 30,000 people? Half a base hospital and no private facility.
“I despair for health in the Wide Bay area.”
Mr Neville was critical of federal Labor’s outright rejection of a Coalition plan for community boards to be restored to manage hospitals.
“The system has worked very well in the past and can do so into the future but Mr Rudd believes that bureaucrats in Brisbane, the same ones who have failed so badly in the past, are the best people to manage our local hospitals,” Mr Neville said.
“He is dead wrong.
“Labor also promised to fix the hospital system by June 30 last year or take over control from the states and neither of these things has happened.
“No one is pretending that fixing public hospitals is an easy thing to do but Labor should never have made the wild promises it did in 2007.”
Mr Neville spent 15 years on the previous Bundaberg Hospital Board until boards were abolished by the Goss Labor government.
“Qld used to have a hospital system that was the envy of the country, with hospital boards administering to the particular needs of individual communities.
“We have been on a downhill slide ever since they were abolished.”
Mr Neville said the alternative was central control.
“All that does is create an even bigger bureaucracy.”