How Rocky candidates will improve our health system
EVERY election The Morning Bulletin provides candidates the opportunity to inform Rockhampton region voters how they would address some of the region's key issues.
From improvements on road safety and healthcare, to how they each plan to tackle the staggering crime rate, learn more about your local candidate's take on five pressing issues across this final week of the Queensland Election campaign.
This was today's question:
"What would you like to see improved regarding health care in the Rockhampton? Please explain your priorities and any funding promises your party might have made."
Dominic Doblo - Independent candidate for Rockhampton
Encourage the public to get up off their big bums and start exercising. Educate them on eating healthy nutritional food. Stop smoking, drink in moderation and don't take drugs unless prescribed by the doctor (and even then, still think twice).
Tony Hopkins - LNP candidate for Rockhampton
An LNP Government will invest $300 million in a surgery blitz to clear the backlog of Queenslanders stranded on waiting lists.
In Rockhampton, we will fast-track the surgeries of over 1600 patients so they can get healthy and get on with their lives.
Our plan is to partner with private hospitals to get these surgeries done.
Common sense tells you that there is no point having empty beds and empty operating theatres in private hospitals when people are waiting for surgery.
The LNP has also committed $1.3 billion to recruit nearly 4500 more nurses, doctors, paramedics and allied health workers.
The major recruitment drive will secure 2530 more nurses and midwives, 320 more paramedics, 750 more doctors and 840 more allied health professionals across the state.
Our investment in more frontline health workers will improve patient care, ease the pressure on our hospital and create more jobs.
I will fight to ensure Rockhampton, as the capital of CQ, has health facilities equal or better to those in Brisbane.
I have spoken to LNP Shadow Minister for Health and former nurse, Ros Bates, about ways to recruit and retain more health specialists to get them to invest, live and stay in our community.
We have discussed how we can best promote Rockhampton as a destination for young graduates and how we can best enhance career pathways for generalist and specialist trainees, as well as providing incentives and opportunities for experienced specialists and GPs.
As part of our plan, we will empower the CQ Hospital and Health Services board to boost local strategies and incentives to achieve recruitment and retainment targets.
I will address the delay in building Rockhampton's new ICE rehabilitation and detox facility.
Tragically this is another example of Labor's incompetence and inability to deliver projects. We're three years on from the announcement and they still haven't turned a sod.
We must get on with this, get it built and get treatment to individuals and families struggling with addiction.
Mick Jones - The Greens candidate for Rockhampton
I owe my life to health workers in the regions. But I've seen them struggle with an underfunded system.
The last LNP government inflicted huge cuts on health. Labor continued that neglect. They've been forced to admit that they can't fund their big boasts of matching the Greens on health without slashing $1 billion from QLD Health elsewhere, and taking other drastic measures. Not to mention their recent meddling with nurses salaries.
This is about funding. Unlike other parties, the Greens don't take donations from big, mega profitable companies - or any company - so we can make sure they pay their taxes, at a fair rate.
The Greens will build six new, free public health clinics for Rockhampton.
That includes GP's and nurses, as well as crucial preventative and primary health care like mental health, dental and chronic illness support.
Private GP clinics are forced to generate an income to pay wages and cover costs.
Many GPs currently struggle to bulk-bill because the Medicare rebate is too low.
At our clinics, everyone will be public employees and paid professional salaries.
That will add 72 doctors and nurses to our local workforce, and take a lot of pressure off emergency wards, which are often the only option people have for seeking treatment at short notice.
We'll also make parking at Rocky Hospital free, and vastly improve nurse to patient ratios all across the system in CQ, adding more jobs, and helping out families doing it tough.
Statewide and right here in CQ, the Greens will:
• Create 21,000 more hospital beds and at least 1000 more ICU beds
• Employ at least 6500 more nurses and 3000 more doctors
• Build and staff 200 public health clinics
Barry O'Rourke - Labor's candidate for Rockhampton
My health priorities are for even better health services and more frontline health staff - and that's exactly what I will deliver.
I'm proud to be part of a Palaszczuk Labor Government which will invest $31 million to expand the Rockhampton Hospital and support 90 local construction jobs.
The funding includes $18.2 million to deliver a new cardiac hybrid theatre and $12.8 million for an expansion and refurbishment of the mental health ward.
The new state-of-the-art cardiac hybrid theatre at Rockhampton Hospital will give locals better access to health services, closer to home - it combines a surgical operating theatre with advanced medical imaging devices to improve patient outcomes and survival. It will provide access to Level 5 Cardiac diagnostic, implantation and interventional services for Central Queenslanders.
We'll also deliver a new $5.5m North Rocky ambulance station.
When you improve services you also need more staff and that's exactly what we will deliver.
We will hire more frontline health staff in Central Queensland including 285 nurses, 47 doctors and 47 health professionals.
Over the past five years across Central Queensland we've hired 114 more doctors and 265 more nurses and midwives, 37 more health professionals, and 29 more paramedics.
A strong public health system has been crucial for our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Had we not rebuilt our frontline services after the previous LNP government sacked thousands of staff, we would not have been able to respond as well as we have to the COVID pandemic.
When the LNP was last in government, they sacked 197 staff from Central Queensland hospitals, including 41 nurses.
Yvette Saxon - Informed Medical Options Party candidate for Rockhampton
Did not respond by deadline.
Christian Shepherd - Katter's Australian Party candidate for Rockhampton
As the member for Rockhampton I will push to remedy the shortfall of existing services as well as new services within our health system. I have already engaged in discussions with the executive team at the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service to establish their priorities for the Rockhampton Base Hospital and the potential for expansion onto an additional site on Canning St, soon to be made available thanks to Katter's Australian Party's commitment to investing in Central Queensland.
These services and new facilities will include an ambulatory care centre, a planned care facility, increased dental services, a cardiology lab expansion, a new cardiac surgery theatre, medical training facilities, an aged care precinct with general practitioner and oral health facilities, medical school facilities, health research facilities and hospital accommodation.
I will also ensure that the North Rockhampton Ambulance Station soon to be knocked down by Queensland Labor will be rebuilt at a new location - bigger and better to secure a strong response capability from emergency medical services within the Rockhampton region.
Katter's Australian Party has already committed to providing $5M to fund paid nurse practitioner and nurse practitioner candidate roles in Rockhampton, an initiative described by Rockhampton's medicine division nursing director as "the best thing that can happen in regional Queensland".
As the member for Rockhampton, I will continue discussions with local health workers to formulate local initiatives to solve our local healthcare problems rather than beg to Brisbane for crumbs from their statewide plans that ignore regional and rural Queensland.
Torin O'Brien - One Nation's candidate for Rockhampton
One Nation's commitment is to scrap Labor's placement fees for studying nurses which can cost up to $12,000 per nurse on top of regular study fees.
Craig Crangle - United Australia Party's candidate for Rockhampton
Did not respond by deadline.
Laura Barnard - Legalise Cannabis Queensland's candidate for Rockhampton
There are deeply seeded issues in our age care homes which must be attended to. I have had the pleasure to speak with some of our elderly and their loved ones, and was shocked at how many said they were not receiving medication on time.
Concerns were brought forward of staff needing ongoing training and support so they in turn are able to apply the same support and practice to our elderly.
Care requirements can change rapidly and staff are already under pressure, it would prove beneficial for age care as a whole to implement funding for further support mechanisms.
I would also seek to provide funding for wellbeing programs to be run from community service providers.
These programs would be designed to benefit namely mental health, but physical health concerns present in our community also. The correlation between our mind and body health is an overlooked but extremely important part of our overall health.
Certainly it's in my party name, however I will continue to advocate for education surrounding cannabis medicines to be readily available to the public, and for our health care professionals.
There are incredible benefits to be seen from more than just CBD and THC products. Other cannabinoid products must be made available to those wishing to manage conditions naturally or more effectively than current pharmaceutical options.
The roots of cannabis as one example, contain compounds such as "piperidine", which are used as "chemical building blocks" in pharmasuticals; many wish to start with the building block and work their way up if need be.
A versatile delivery of health treatments will promote a healthy, thriving community.