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Wednesday, 20 March 2013
Page: 2869

Mr VAN MANEN (Forde) (09:36): I rise to speak on an issue starting to affect a number of constituents in my electorate as a result of this government pulling $103 million of funding from Queensland Health and the flow-on effects of that. Not only has my office been contacted in regard to this issue but it has been raised in the local media. As with the feedback to my local office, the article in the local media the other day stated that elective surgery patients across Logan can expect now a wait of at least nine months, or even more, to be added to their waiting time for treatment. The local hospital has postponed almost half of its non-urgent elective surgeries until the new financial year starts in July. According to Metro South Health chief executive Dr Richard Ashby, non-urgent elective surgery has been reduced from 67 to 40 operating theatre sessions per week. Some 92 patients have been contacted to reschedule surgery due before June 30 and others on the waiting list will now also be waiting for an unspecified length of time.

I am concerned for patients on non-urgent surgery waiting lists who are suffering conditions which might be causing pain, discomfort and disability. A constituent recently contacted me to say that he has been affected by these delays. He was given only one week's notice that his hip replacement surgery was to be cancelled. He had already hired equipment for his home recovery and has now been told the surgery will not happen until at least the new financial year.

This increase in postponements and the blow-out in waiting lists coincides directly with the Labor government taking $103 million out of the Queensland Health budget, of which $19 million came out of the budget of Metro South Health. When we look at the list of failures by this federal Labor government we see a total of $1.6 billion ripped out of public hospitals, $4 billion slashed out of private health insurance, $1 billion hacked out of dental health, and any number of other issues. This is not only affecting people in my electorate but electorates right around the country. All the while, as this finger pointing and blame game continues, it negatively affects all in our communities and these people are having to deal with those effects. It is not only the people who are not receiving the treatment, it is also family members, friends and employers. I request that the government reinstate the funding immediately.