New approach to Ipswich hospitals

IPSWICH will split from the Darling Downs and have its own separate and autonomous health networks under the Federal Government's National Health Reform.

The Ipswich region, under the name West Moreton, will be one of 17 Local Health and Hospital Networks that will replace the current Queensland Health Service Districts.

These reforms will also deliver a dedicated Children's Health Network that will oversee the provision of world class children's health services across the state.

Premier Anna Bligh yesterday said she had informed Prime Minister Julia Gillard that Queensland would take the first steps towards implementing the national health reforms.

The reforms will put more decision-making in the hands of professionals instead of “central bureaucracy in Brisbane”, Ms Bligh said.

“It'll be your local health professionals that are making decisions about health care for you and your community,” she said.

“The national health reforms deliver new beds to Queensland hospitals, they deliver more elective surgery and more emergency surgery.”

Ms Bligh said the new health networks will give local people a greater say in health care.

She said the state would undertake further discussions with its state and federal colleagues, staff, unions, patients and the broader community around the governance and structure of the local networks.

“These are important reforms that will change the way health services are delivered in Queensland and we want to make sure we get it right,” she said.

“We are proposing new legislation to establish the hospital networks by July 2011, with a progressive roll-out of the new arrangements after that time.”

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