An Independent Queensland Regional & Rural
(Cairns... Far North Queensland)
Howard has visited Davenport Hospital and is reported to have indicated that the
hospital, which is apparently stressed to provide adequate if not basic services
to the local population, would be subject to another form of funding and
was that a local Trust would be formed to control the hospital, managed by
locals with professional help, and fully funded by the Commonwealth. The
operation would be, for all intents and purposes, a Commonwealth funded
operation divorced from State control.
operation system proposed is nothing new and was the system that operated in
Queensland prior to the implementation of the Goss Governments centralisation
policies. In those days there were admittedly some hospital problems but they
were the exception rather than, as they are today, the rule.
Such a proposal
should be seriously considered in the case of the Cairns Base Hospital where
over the last few years the bureaucratic management has been fairly ordinary,
caused in substantial part by the availability of funds, or perhaps more
specifically the lack of them.
If we like to
recall just some of the stories about the Cairns Base Hospital during the last
few months we have the situation where, but to highlight a couple of problems,
unqualified doctors were employed, staffing shortages are endemic and any
logical plan for the long-term improvement of the hospital has all been totally
I refer to my
suggested development of two additional sites for specialist hospital facilities
while leaving the present hospital to concentrate on those services suited to
its location and expertise.
In making these
comments, I must make it abundantly clear that the staff at the Cairns Base
Hospital are a dedicated and proficient team who have the interests and well
being of their patients at heart. But any team has to be managed, funded and
made inclusive and I don’t believe the hospital staff are afforded these
By way of example
it has recently been published that at the Cairns Base Hospital there are [or
will be] only 8 staff to take care of the needs of 956 Child and Youth Mental
Service patients. This staffing level is totally inadequate and the inadequacy
is not limited to this particular unit. In addition, the Beattie Government
reneged on a dollar for dollar promise for the proposed COUCH cancer chemotherapy
initiative and while this may, in itself, be just a very ordinary act, it is
indicative of a more general attitude of disinterest typical of the state
proposal regarding the Davenport Hospital, while stated to be only a trial,
should be seriously considered by Cairns residents. An application must be
made to the Prime Minister immediately to offer the Cairns Base Hospital as a
second trial facility.
We must remember that
it was the Goss Government that took the “local” out of Queensland’s
hospital management and, at that time, his senior advisor was none other than
Kevin Rudd. While Wayne Goss has moved on there is nothing to suggest that the
Federal Leader of the Opposition has altered his attitude and understandably so.
He has other current problems in Tasmania.
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Written and Authorised by Selwyn Johnston,
Cairns FNQ 4870