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Monday, 19 September 2011
Page: 10584

Mr NEUMANN (Blair) (21:33): After many years of neglect by the previous coalition government, national health reform is delivering for a health and hospital system in Ipswich. The national health and hospitals reform is delivering new subacute services in Ipswich, providing more support for patients in the local community.

Recently, the Hon. Nicola Roxon, the Minister for Health and Ageing, visited Ipswich. Together, we inspected a new rehabilitation centre and announced a boost to geriatric evaluation and management services at Ipswich Hospital. These new services will provide better assessment and rehabilitation care for elderly patients in the Ipswich and West Moreton region. It is part of a $16.52 million boost to West Moreton health services. Providing local communities such as Ipswich, with a fast-growing population, with resources is critical for adequate and proper health care. It is crucial that Ipswich gets support for local health and hospital reform.

The $16.52 million investment in the Ipswich and West Moreton region over the next three years will provide for 10 subacute bed equivalent services, or an extra 3,280 occupied bed days, for geriatric evaluation and management at Ipswich General Hospital; six subacute beds at Boonah Hospital; a new community based adult rehabilitation service at Ipswich; and an expansion of palliative care outreach services across the Ipswich and West Moreton region, also benefiting the Lockyer Valley and the Somerset region, in my electorate.

The new rehabilitation centre that we inspected will start operation in the new year and it is the first of its kind in the region. When the geriatric evaluation management service is fully operational it will provide, as I say, an additional 3,280 bed days per annum at Ipswich General Hospital. That is the equivalent of 10 extra beds and it will make a big difference with respect to rehabilitation services in the whole area. It is part of a 1,300 subacute bed and community services commitment across the whole of Australia, including at least 265 beds and services to be delivered in Queensland. This is crucial.

The facility we inspected will feature a kitchen and bathroom set-up, helping patients simulate a homelike environment as part of their therapy program. In addition, palliative care services will be expanded by approximately 800 appointments specifically for patients with heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This builds on Labor's already strong investments in the Ipswich and West Moreton region, including the GP superclinic which was so critical to the flood recovery evacuation in Ipswich. It is making sure that Ipswich residents get the care they need.

Since this government was elected in 2007 we have committed $6.1 billion in new funding for Queensland's health and hospital system through national health reform. Locally, in the Ipswich area, that has included $16.7 million to increase paediatric emergency treatment places in Ipswich General Hospital; $1.7 million to fit out an additional operating theatre at Ipswich Hospital, which the federal Minister for Health and Ageing formerly visited with me; and $2.5 million for the Ipswich GP superclinic, of which the first stage is operational; eight general practitioner registrars in the Ipswich area; and over $700,000 for the healthy communities project, Healthy Active Ipswich. I congratulate the Ipswich City Council for their success. The project is aimed at making sure that Ipswich has the healthiest community, through physical activity and improved healthy eating amongst adults, predominantly those not in the workforce.

I note that some of this funding will go towards a very popular centre for the Ministry of Food. Jamie Oliver, of course, runs that internationally. The centre is located in Ipswich. The Ministry of Food is just one of the innovative programs that will benefit from the health community funding, with healthy cooking lessons expanded to help disadvantaged students.

This is also part of the assistance we are giving the University of Queensland. The University of Queensland and the University of Southern Queensland have recently received a $712,000 investment in refurbishment and fit-out of clinics at those universities to improve clinical education and training infrastructure across the Ipswich and West Moreton region. And $690,000 was given to the University of Queensland to help refurbish and fit-out the clinical training and placement environment the Ipswich GP superclinic, on top of the $2.5 million we have committed. This is great for the local community.