LNP candidate for Keppel, Bruce Young.
LNP candidate for Keppel, Bruce Young. Allan Reinikka

MP rejects ALP’s claims about health service job slashing

MEMBER for Keppel Bruce Young has hit back at Labor's Brittany Lauga, rejecting her claim that 197 FTE jobs have been slashed from Central Queensland hospitals since the Newman Government came to power.

Ms Lauga, who will stand against Mr Young at the next election, said new data from a right to information (RTI) search showed there were now 197 fewer doctors, nurses and allied health professionals saving lives, delivering babies and caring for the sick.

Ms Lauga said these cuts threatened the quality of health care for Central Queenslanders.

"It's no secret that as a population we are aging and that, as we age, we will all need more complex health care to stay healthy and out of hospital," she said.

But Mr Young hit back, saying Central Queensland hospitals had in fact increased staff across the board since 2012.

He said it was difficult to know what figures Mrs Lauga had revealed without the parameters of the RTI request.

"What I can say is, Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service has not slashed the number of doctors, nurses and health professionals over the past two years," he said.

"The total number of employees for CQHHS has grown to 2589 at June 2014 from 2552 last year."

There were 1666 full-time equivalent doctors, nurses and health professionals employed at CQHHS June 2014. This compares with 1669 in 2013, and 1641 in 2012.

Mr Young said there was a voluntary redundancy program offered to all staff in early 2013, that was purely to improve services by reducing fragmentation and duplication.

"This was not an exercise in slashing frontline nursing and doctors' positions - it was about increasing efficiency," he said.



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