Local health report kept secret

A CLINICAL audit of services at Maryborough and Hervey Bay hospitals has been sitting on a bureaucrat's desk for weeks.

Queensland Health is stalling the release of the audit despite pleas from health lobbyists and Maryborough MP Chris Foley.

Fraser Coast Health Focus Taskforce chairman Lance Stone said it was “extremely disappointing” the audit was being kept under wraps.

“We're talking about people's lives and health here,” he said.

“It should be a transparent process, which brings back to me how important it is for hospitals to be managed locally by people who can be held accountable.”

Maryborough MP Chris Foley, a member of the Taskforce, said he had urged the Health Minister Paul Lucas to release the report.

“It's about delivering better health service for the average person in Maryborough and surrounds,” he said.

“I don't really care about the politics.

“This audit looks at both hospitals and how we can appropriately share services between them.

“Hervey Bay Hospital is bursting at the seams and Maryborough Hospital is under-utilised.”

Mr Foley said the audit had been completed but Mr Lucas had not revealed when the report would be released.

“It's taken far too long for them to release it. The government often wait to release these findings at a politically opportune time,” Mr Foley said.

Mr Foley said the Health Minister indicated the report would be released after the federal election – but there's still no sign of it.

Queensland Health's response:

Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Health Service District chief executive officer Kevin Hegarty said the Deputy Premier committed in November 2009 to undertake a clinical services review of Maryborough and Hervey Bay hospitals.

“This review has been finalised and is currently being considered prior to release,” Mr Hegarty said.

“This process is expected to be complete before the end of September, when we will be able to provide the community more detail.”

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