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    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Security of Maryborough frontline services in doubt under LNP government

    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Wednesday, September 13, 2017

    Security of Maryborough frontline services in doubt under LNP government

    Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick has called on LNP Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls to assure Wide Bay residents that no Maryborough Hospital frontline services would be sold off under an LNP government.

    The Palaszczuk Government provided $60,000 to restore pathology services in Maryborough in 2015, after the service was cut under the LNP in 2012 as part of their slashing of frontline services across the state.

    The restoration of the service returned onsite chemistry, haematology and microbiology testing to the facility, and also involved the appointment of two additional staff to the unit.

    The reinstatement and expansion of the service meant more than 95 per cent of urgent testing as well as a broader range of pathology work can now be completed on site.

    Earlier this year, Mr Dick announced a $3.6 million upgrade to Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service’s Group Linen Service, which was also threatened with closure under the LNP.

    “More than 10 permanent jobs were created by this expansion,” Mr Dick said, adding that the linen service now employed a total 77 staff in full-time-equivalent roles through both the laundry and drivers.

    “This project ticked off on two of the Palaszczuk Government’s top priorities - quality healthcare and job creation.”

    Mr Dick said a question from the LNP Opposition in Parliament last week had exposed their plan to sell off Pathology Queensland, throwing into doubt the future of the Maryborough pathology unit and posing questions over whether the same plan would apply to the Wide Bay linen service.

    “A Question on Notice from the Opposition asked how the cost of Pathology Queensland services compared to private service providers, ‘to ensure efficient allocation of taxpayer funds’,” Mr Dick said.

    “The LNP wanted to sell Pathology Queensland when they were in government, and it’s clear that they want to sell it if they are elected again.

    “I can assure the Maryborough community that the Palaszczuk Labor Government will not shut down services. Unlike the LNP, we will not privatise Pathology Queensland and we will keep your jobs secure.”

    Mr Dick said LNP Opposition leader Tim Nicholls had failed to refute the plan when it was raised in Parliament.

    “I call on Tim Nicholls to rule out selling assets like Pathology Queensland and the hospital linen service, and to rule out cutting frontline services and frontline jobs in Wide Bay.”

    Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders said he was proud to be part of a government that had shut down talks of closing the linen service and instead reinvigorated it.

    “Instead of job cuts and service loss, we’ve not only seen this linen service remain open, but better yet we’ve also watched it expand under the Palaszczuk Government,” he said.

    “More than 5000 people also signed a petition to reopen the Maryborough pathology unit, and it was this government that heard this community and delivered.

    “This government has proved that it listens to local voices and is committed to strengthening healthcare services for our region.

    “There is no doubt that an LNP government simply couldn’t be trusted with these two local services or the jobs of the hardworking staff who deliver them.”

    ENDS

     

    Media contact:         

    Anika Hume    0447 320 039