Surplus prompts promise of better health services

CENTRAL Queensland Hospital and Health Service's 2013-14 Annual Report shows a cash surplus of $8.1m, which will be used to invest in better public health services for the community.

CQHHS Board chairman Charles Ware (pictured) said the surplus would be used to increase access to health services, and reduce waiting times for patients, including outlaying $2.1m to fund an extra 450 surgeries.

Mr Ware said $3m would be used to fund the establishment of an ophthalmology (specialist eye) service, including $500,000 in equipment while the second phase was a significant expansion, with a contract signed for 645 outpatients and 632 surgical operations.

"The third phase will be even more good news, when we establish an in-house service, including a contracted ophthalmologist who devotes most of their time to the public service and a trainee registrar to build the service for the future," Mr Ware said.

The board also plans to employ more doctors and other clinical staff, aiming to move away from sole-doctor facilities and disciplines.

"The board is determined to improve National Emergency Access Target and National Elective Surgery Target figures which means less waiting for our patients," he said.

In 2013-14 almost 87% of patients spent fewer than four hours in the Emergency Department at Gladstone Hospital, and about 72% were in the ED in Rockhampton for fewer than four hours.

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