Reform proposals have been welcomed by Yeppoon GP Michael Donohue, chairman of the Capricornia division of general practitioners, and Kim Bulwinkel, AMA representative, pictured with Member for Capricornia Kirsten Livermore.
Reform proposals have been welcomed by Yeppoon GP Michael Donohue, chairman of the Capricornia division of general practitioners, and Kim Bulwinkel, AMA representative, pictured with Member for Capricornia Kirsten Livermore. Adrian Taylor At

Bring it on, say health chiefs

ROCKHAMPTON’S health chiefs have welcomed the Federal Government’s proposals for a health and hospital revolution.

The region’s leading health professionals and administrators were briefed yesterday by Member for Capricornia Kirsten Livermore.

And outspoken surgeon Kim Bulwinkel, the Australian Medical Association’s Capricornia representative, said the only thing wrong with the plans for the Commonwealth to take closer control of the nation’s health services was that it hadn’t happened years ago.

“There are 123 recommendations in the reform commission’s report – and every one of them is good,” Dr Bulwinkel said.

“The current system is a dog. Health provision in Rockhampton has gone backwards.”

He said he would be in favour of the Federal Government taking over from the states and territories to end the constant blame game problems which had dogged the sector.

“I think the report covers all the areas of the concern in a thorough way and it offers hope that there will one day be uniform, high-quality health care for everybody, including those of us in decentralised regions like Central Queensland.”

Yesterday’s meeting was part of a consultation process to keep the sector informed of proposals and take feedback.

Ms Livermore said the report had taken 16 months to prepare and final recommendations were expected to be presented in March. “There are a number of options suggested – one of which is for the Commonwealth to assume full responsibility for provision, gradually moving to 100% funding of acute services,” she said.

“I think there are concerns within the system that it is too fragmented and it’s very important for me to engage with representatives in CQ if I am to participate effectively in the discussions in Canberra over the coming months.”

She was very encouraged by the response.

“While we are going about these discussions, we are not simply waiting for things to improve,” she said.

“The Government has signalled a 50% increase in hospital funding in its agreements with states and territories and is pouring a significant amount of money into dealing with waiting lists.”



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