The deteriorating condition of the Moranbah Hospital has sparked outrage among the communtiy. Picture: Tara Miko
The deteriorating condition of the Moranbah Hospital has sparked outrage among the communtiy. Picture: Tara Miko

‘Crumbling’ hospital sparks outrage among Moranbah residents

A Moranbah mum and long time resident was horrified and in utter disbelief at the condition of the local hospital, which included walls with holes and cracked ceilings.

Jennifer Malcolm was admitted to Moranbah Hospital on Tuesday afternoon with pneumonia and has been required to stay since.

While she felt she received one of the better rooms, it still had exposed openings in the walls, visible termite damage and a cracked ceiling around the air conditioner which left her thinking it could have fallen at any time.

"The community and surrounding districts heavily rely upon this hospital and it's falling apart, it's crumbling," Mrs Malcolm said.

"I decided right then that something must be done.

"I couldn't believe it and was in shock, and a little disheartened over what the Moranbah Hospital has become."

Structural damage photographed by a patient at Moranbah Hospital.
Structural damage photographed by a patient at Moranbah Hospital.

The extensive visible damage left Mrs Malcolm wanting to go home or to Mackay rather than staying locally.

"I hate that my recovery is here and wish to go home," she said.

"I feel unsafe and worried that the roof is exposed in places that the door jam is unusable.

"I would personally rather be in the Mackay Base Hospital where at least its walls are holding strong, than be here in this room."

In September 2020, the Queensland Government committed $500,000 for a preliminary and detailed business case for the redevelopment of the hospital, as part of an expansion to Mackay, Bowen and Moranbah services.

Mackay Hospital and Health Service chief executive Lisa Davies Jones said building inspections and quotes were being requested to fix the damage until further works could be completed.

"The health and wellbeing of patients across Mackay HHS is of the highest priority," she said.

"Moranbah Hospital is safe for patients, visitors and staff.

"Building inspections have been undertaken and quotes are being sought for remedial work.

"Mackay HHS is also progressing with the development of a detailed business case for Moranbah Hospital which will explore the potential scope for a redevelopment project."

Cracks were seen around the air conditioner.
Cracks were seen around the air conditioner.

But Mrs Malcolm said the project needed to be fast tracked for the benefit of the staff, patients and surrounding communities.

"There needs to be change and faster restoration of this hospital that does so much for our community," she said.

"It is the heart and soul of this mining town that deals with a lot of emergencies.

"I feel it should have been funded yesterday and I'm appalled by my local government and those in charge as they would have known about this for years."

Isaac Regional Council has advocated for upgrades to the Moranbah Hospital - and an increase in the number of doctors and other medical staff - for years, and Mayor Anne Baker said it remained a top priority.

"Hospitals in the Isaac region are under the direct management of the Queensland Government's Mackay Health and Hospital Service," she said.

"The Queensland Government is responsible for health matters, in partnership with the Commonwealth.

Isaac Regional Council mayor Anne Baker said the upgrade of the Moranbah Hospital remained a priority.
Isaac Regional Council mayor Anne Baker said the upgrade of the Moranbah Hospital remained a priority.

"Prior to the October 2020 State election, the Queensland Government committed to funding a business case for a significant upgrade to the Moranbah Hospital.

"The Isaac Regional Council and the Queensland Government are conducting ongoing discussions about this business case."

Mrs Malcolm said the incredible staff deserved better.

"I have never been able to fault the amazing nursing staff here or the admin as they are understaffed and yet always beyond helpful with amazing care," she said.

"They are the true heroes of this hospital and it hurts that they keep it running and now physically holding up the place around them."

Originally published as 'Crumbling' hospital sparks outrage among CQ residents



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