Health Minister Paul Lucas.
Health Minister Paul Lucas.

Paul Lucas to visit hospital

A NEW dawn could be signalled for Maryborough Hospital tomorrow with the visit of Health Minister Paul Lucas to the Fraser Coast.

Member for Maryborough Chris Foley is upbeat about the future of the beleaguered hospital after Mr Lucas (pictured), also deputy premier, responded to invitations to witness first-hand the Fraser Coast health services.

“He wants to come and look at it with a fresh set of eyes. He is coming here with no preconceived ideas,” Mr Foley said yesterday.

A spokesperson for Mr Lucas confirmed the minister wanted to survey the situation personally.

“He likes to visit as many hospitals as he can. He likes to talk to hospital staff, clinicians at the coalface.”

The minister is not expected to make a definitive announcement during the visit.

Mr Lucas has responded to personal requests from Mr Foley to visit the Fraser Coast hospitals.

“He will have a good look through both locations and will take on board the clinical services available,” Mr Foley said.

“He will be asking how he can improve services here. I take that as a good sign for Maryborough Hospital which has capacity.

“I’m feeling pretty positive because the strain on services at Hervey Bay Hospital will make a compelling argument for Maryborough which has capacity available.

“He’s very serious about trying to understand the situation up here.”

The health minister will also sit down with members of the Community Health Task Force during his four-hour Maryborough visit and Mr Foley is confident Mr Lucas will be open-minded about the views put forward during that meeting.

Mr Lucas is expected to visit Hervey Bay Hospital either tomorrow afternoon or early on Thursday.

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