Ipswich Hospital.
Ipswich Hospital.

Plan to hire 450 more frontline health staff in Ipswich

LABOR says it will hire 454 more frontline health staff in Ipswich if it is re-elected but its plan for a new $40 million satellite hospital for the city has been panned as a “band aid” solution by One Nation.

Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard said 315 nurses, 71 doctors and 68 health professionals would be hired over the next four years if Labor retains government after election day on October 31.

“Keeping Queenslanders healthy and safe is a key part of our economic plan,” she said.

“Since 2015 we’ve hired 162 more doctors and 528 more nurses and midwives, 89 more health professionals, and 60 more paramedics in West Moreton.”

Bundamba MP Lance McCallum said the local health sector had been diminished by cuts by the LNP when it was last in power.

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“When they were in government, the LNP sacked 124 staff from West Moreton’s hospitals, including 92 nurses,” he said.

The LNP’s candidate for Ipswich Scott O’Connell said the party would invest $13.7 million into the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service to reduce the surgery waitlist if elected.

It would also hire about 4500 health staff across Queensland.

“There are 2588 Ipswich locals waiting on Labor’s surgery waiting list, a 32 per cent increase since the Palaszczuk Labor Government was elected,” he said.

“Labor can’t fix the problems in the health system because Labor is the problem.”

Earlier this week, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced one of seven new satellite hospitals across the south east would be built in Ipswich is she was re-elected.

A $146.3 million redevelopment of the Ipswich Hospital is already underway.

One Nation candidate for Ipswich Suzie Holmes said plans for a satellite hospital would not be enough to service the city as the population explodes.

“Ipswich needs a real plan for health facilities and services,” she said.

“We need a new hospital built so that we do not have long waiting queues or unnecessary deaths from a lack of beds or surgery theatres.

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“Building satellite hospitals or extending facilities sound great on the surface but what people need to realise is that this approach could cost taxpayers more in the long run and Ipswich has been given no assurance of a viable solution for future health services and facilities.

“If I am elected as the Member for Ipswich, as a member of the crossbench I will be in a powerful position to fight for an additional hospital.

“Locations that can be explored include at Blacksoil, around the Ipswich Showgrounds or even the area surrounding the Ipswich Transit Centre where the Queensland Government already owns buildings.

“This is a workable, forward thinking solution, not a typical political band aid solution.”

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.

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