Noosa hospital emergency closure has some worried sick
NOOSA Hospital's emergency services department will close in July 2021 and a cloud will hang over all its public hospital beds if the State Government implements the Sunshine Coast's future hospital health care blueprint.
Noosa Greens candidate Joe Shlegeris said after seeing the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Services' current and future health service needs document, it points to the Ramsay Healthcare-operated hospital being run on a strictly private basis after the state 2020-21 funding allocations end.
But the LNP Government has flatly denied the claim and Member for Noosa Glen Elmes said it would not happen.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said on Wednesday: "There is absolutely no suggestion and absolutely no likelihood that services for public patients at Noosa would cease or desist after 2020."
But Mr Shlegeris begged to differ.
"The LNP Government plans to close the Noosa public hospital and the emergency department," he said. "Half of the beds in the Noosa Hospital are public beds.
"When they go, the hospital will lose other essential and specialist services because there won't be enough patients to support them.
"We will no longer have any intensive care facility.
"With no emergency department, all critically ill patients will be forced to endure a long trip to either Nambour or Sippy Downs."
The forward plan presented by chairman of Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Board, Professor Paul Thomas, and chief executive of Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, Kevin Hegarty, supported Mr Shlegeris's claims.
In the emergency care section it states: "Note that the future role of Noosa in the care of public patients is not within the scope of this plan.
"It will be determined at a later date.
"However, the graph (of emergency services projected demand at the Coast's hospitals) above assumes that Noosa emergency services for public patients will not continue after 2020-21."