BREAKING: Labor promises funding for new Bundaberg Hospital
A RE-ELECTED Labor Government will commit $3 million towards a business case for a new or substantially-refurbished Bundaberg Hospital.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the comprehensive planning and business case would examine how to best cater for the demands of a growing and ageing Wide Bay population.
"Already my government has committed $1 billion to refurbished or replacement hospitals or clinics in Queensland, including a $44 million for the expanded Emergency Department at Hervey Bay Hospital and $10 million for an extended ED and refurbished Outpatients Ward at Maryborough Hospital,'' the Premier said.
"Last week I also announced an additional 120 nurses, an extra four midwives and to expand the Nurse navigator program to 22 in the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Services.
"And today, I am announcing that we will commission a very detailed examination of the best options for the hospital in regard to the future health needs of the region's population,'' Ms Palaszczuk said.
"This is in direct contrast to the paltry commitment of the LNP which could manage just one-tenth of our investment in health infrastructure when they were last in power.
"The LNP cut services then, and they will do it again.
"They cut services that are crucial to the health and well-being of Queenslanders.”
Last month, the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service had presented a proof of concept proposal to the Department of Health, which was being considered by the department's Investment Review Committee, which considers all significant infrastructure proposals.
Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson said the business case would examine current and future health service needs; staffing requirements within the Wide Bay and Burnett region; the hospital's relationship with local private health care providers and research and training partners. The commitment is over two years.
"Only the Palaszczuk Government has consistently shown a commitment to health services not only in Bundaberg and the Wide Bay but across Queensland,'' Mrs Donaldson said.
Bundaberg Hospital currently operates 235 overnight beds and treatment spaces within the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service which serves a catchment population of 216,000.
By 2026 that population is expected to grow to 256,517. The region's status as a retirement destination means that residents aged 65 already represent 22% of the population (14% for state-wide). This will increase to 31% by 2026.
"Mr Nicholls wants to cut services and slash staff. A re-elected Labor Government will build them,” Ms Donaldson said.