CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
MEMBER FOR HERBERT
LABOR TO BUILD NEW WARD AT TOWNSVILLE HOSPITAL
A Shorten Labor Government will improve health care for people in north Queensland by building a new 33 bed ward at The Townsville Hospital.
Labor will invest $13 million to build the ward, which will provide state-of-the-art care to cancer and cardiovascular disease patients, general medicine patients and general surgery patients.
The new ward will also reduce pressure on other parts of the hospital, including the overstretched emergency department, and contribute to the expansion of the hospital required over the decade.
It will mean more Queenslanders can get the care they need closer to home.
The Townsville region is growing rapidly – with population set to increase by approximately 30,000 in the ten years to 2026 – and the hospital is already experiencing bed shortages.
The Townsville HHS Health Service Plan 2018-28 calls for an additional 174 beds at the hospital by 2027. This is Federal Labor’s contribution to that goal.
Labor believes Australians should get the best quality health care whenever they need it – no matter if you live in downtown Brisbane or regional north Queensland.
That’s why the last federal Labor Government invested $250 million to expand Townsville Hospital as part of a $437m redevelopment.
The Liberals on the other hand just cut and cut and cut from health. As Treasurer, Scott Morrison cut from health and hospitals in every Budget he authored.
His government cut $9 million from Townsville Hospital under the current 2017 to 2020 funding agreement.
That’s equivalent to 25 nurses, or 13,500 emergency department visits, or 22,000 outpatient appointments. And it’s part of a $160m cut to Queensland hospitals and a $715m cut nationwide.
Now Morrison is trying to lock in those cuts for another five years – a dud deal that the Queensland Labor Government is resisting.
Labor will reverse the Liberal cuts with our $2.8 billion Better Hospitals Fund, which we will use to fund this new ward at The Townsville Hospital.
The ward will be established in an existing ‘shell space’ on the hospital grounds, with the fit-out expected to take about 18 months.
Only Labor can be trusted to fix Queensland’s hospitals.
WEDNESDAY, 23 JANUARY 2018