ALP's $8.2m refurb of Rocky Hospital's mental health ward
RICHES continue to rain down on Capricornia in the federal election campaign with Labor promising $8.2 million for Rockhampton Hospital.
Labor's candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson was joined at the hospital by Shadow Health Minister Catherine King to make the multi-million dollar campaign commitment to deliver better mental health care to residents by overhauling Rockhampton Hospital's ageing and sub-optimal mental health ward.
"Rockhampton Hospital delivers vital mental health care to central Queenslanders - but despite the hard work of dedicated doctors and nurses, the substandard condition of the hospital's mental health facilities poses obstacles to patient care,” Mr Robertson said.
"Rockhampton Hospital's Mental Health Inpatient Services operate from a 23-year-old facility.
"The building's façade is aged and rusted, while internally the facility's aged services require constant maintenance, repair and replacement.
"Labor's investment will deliver better patient and staff safety by ensuring that Rockhampton residents have access to modern, world-class mental health facilities and will deliver better health outcomes to Central Queenslanders.”
Mr Robertson said the work would ensure staff at the hospital have facilities with the capacity to support personalised treatment options, flexible models of care, research opportunities and the increasing use of ICT in healthcare delivery.
Ms King said the investment was part of Labor's plan to invest $1 billion in vital upgrades to Australia's public hospitals: building new wards with more beds, upgrading emergency departments and theatres, and establishing new palliative care and mental health facilities.
"This investment blitz - one element of Labor's $2.8 billion Better Hospitals Fund - is a key part of Labor's Fair Go Action Plan to improve health care and strengthen Medicare,” Ms King said. "We can afford to spend more on health care because we've made the tough decisions to close unfair tax loopholes.
"Australians are paying more than ever to see the doctor, and people are languishing longer than ever in emergency departments and on elective surgery waiting lists.
"Only Russell Robertson and Labor can be trusted to fix our hospitals and deliver a modern and safe mental health ward to Rockhampton Hospital. We need real change - because more of the same isn't good enough.”