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Senator welcomes Aramac Hospital announcement.



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Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald Parliamentary Secretary for Northern Australia Liberal Senator for Queensland

MEDIA RELEASE

Senator Welcomes Aramac Hospital Announcement

Queensland Senator, Ian Macdonald, has welcomed the announcement by the State Health Minister that Aramac Hospital will remain open for another twelve months, but said that the Hospital needs to be given a permanent reprieve from closure.

“I am pleased to hear the news that the State Government has changed its decision to close Aramac Hospital immediately, and that it will remain open for a further twelve months. The Aramac Community should be very proud of their successful lobbying efforts on this issue.

However, this vital health service should remain indefinitely, not just for the next twelve months. I think people are right to wonder whether this is just a stunt in a period leading up to a State Election.

As I said in the Senate recently, the Queensland Government are closing country hospitals because they don’t have the money. While Aramac may have been given a 12-month reprieve, other country towns should watch out that they are not next on the Labor Government’s hit-list.

Health services are a right for all Queenslanders, not a privilege for those living in the major cities. The Queensland Government needs to get its priorities right. It needs to stop playing political football with something as serious as local hospitals - marking them for closure, and then allowing them to briefly stay open until the next State election is over. They are playing with people’s lives. People need more certainty than that,” said Senator Macdonald.

ENDS

Media Contact: Troy Reeves (07) 4771 3066 29 September 2008