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Beattie make Townsville Hospital priority in mini budget.



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MEDIA RELEASE

BEATTIE MAKE TOWNSVILLE HOSPITAL PRIORITY IN MINI BUDGET

Tuesday, 18 October 2005

Federal Member for Herbert, Peter Lindsay, today called on the Queensland Government to fund at least 100 extra beds for the Townsville Hospital. “I call on Peter Beattie to make the Townsville Hospital one his top priorities when he delivers a mini budget later this month, and for the State Government to understand the urgent needs of the people of North Queensland,” Peter Lindsay MP said. “Following a 36 per cent growth in the region in the last 6 months, the Townsville Hospital continues to run 100 per cent full, 100 per cent of the time,” Mr Lindsay said. “Health Professionals have advised me of the need for the 100 extra beds,” he said. “There are a number of reasons for the bed shortage at the hospital; firstly, the growing population in the region, secondly, the fact that the new Hospital has about half the number of beds compared to the old Hospital in North Ward. Thirdly, the collapse of rural health services, which has increased the number of rural patients being transferred to Townsville Hospital for treatment. The Hospital is under far more pressure than most other regional hospitals, as it provides health care to patients from all over North Queensland, and PNG,” Mr Lindsay said. “The lack of beds has caused waiting lists to continue to blow out. Patients are waiting longer and longer.” “There is a second key issue. The teaching function of the Townsville Hospital has not been adequately supported to enable Queensland to have a high quality health system. The Townsville Hospital must operate as a full training hospital. Teaching facilities have to be provided and teaching time for health staff must be protected,” Mr Lindsay said. “The full range of teaching and training must be catered for from nursing through to Registrar to Specialist training positions. No longer should students and trainees be just seen to be in the way.”