Malone blasts hospital delays

THE LNP’s shadow minister for emergency services yesterday slammed as pitiful Labor’s management of the new Yeppoon Hospital (pictured right).

The LNP Member for Mirani Ted Malone said Labor promised Capricorn Coast residents a new hospital in 2003, stating it would be completed in 2006.

“It’s now nearly four years late and although the $21.5 million building looks to be virtually complete, the Bligh government and the local member won’t say when it will open for services and be taking patients,” he said.

“It’s been a long, painful saga of promise after broken promise and it’s still not open, despite the Premier making a special visit back in August to inspect what were to be ‘final touches’.

“With the Central Queensland Health District having one of the lowest bed-to-population ratios in the state, 2.2 beds per 1000 residents, it’s critical that the hospital be opened without further delays,” he said.

However, Member for Keppel Paul Hoolihan hit back at Mr Malone accusing him of political grandstanding.

“Mr Malone is trying to keep his name up for the people of Mount Morgan (which is incorporated in the Mirani electorate),” Mr Hoolihan said.

He said the hospital would be opened by the end of the month.

The hospital, with 22 acute beds and 12 day beds, would bring acute and emergency services together with community health and dentistry under one roof for the first time.

Acting Premier and Minister for Health Paul Lucas confirmed commissioning of services would start on January 27. He said all services at the hospital would be in place by February 15.

“The hospital is now undergoing minor rectification works, as is the case at the completion of any major project,” Mr Lucas said.

“Frankly Ted Malone’s hypocrisy is breathtaking. When he was last in government and Mike Horan was health minister they raided the Rockhampton Hospital capital budget to pay for upgrades at the Toowoomba Hospital in his electorate.”



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