Beattie to hound Howard for doctors

By ADAM WRATTEN

IF THE health crisis is get- ting Queensland Premier Pe- ter Beattie down he wasn't showing it yesterday.

Mr Beattie, sporting a co- lourful badge with the num- ber 325 on his tie, was upbeat on a visit to Rockhampton de- spite the massive challenge ahead.

He said 325 represented the number of additional medical students needed to be trained at Queensland universities for each of the next five years to mend the problem.

He has vowed to quit if he hasn't helped health "turn the corner ... by the end of the year''.

Tomorrow Mr Beattie will lobby Prime Minister John Howard at the COAG (Council of Australian Government) meeting for support to address the doctor shortage.

He believes health is a na- tional problem.

"As the former president of the national AMA said, Bun- daberg could have happened anywhere,'' Mr Beattie said.

"It's worse in Queensland because we have about 1500 people moving here each week. (But) it's not just here, Victoria also wants 240 doctors.

"We will push and push and push to get an outcome out of that meeting on Friday for a greater focus on univer- sity places.''

Mr Beattie was in Rock- hampton to launch a $10 mil- lion funding package to devel- op tennis in regional Queensland.



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