Pensioner ambushes premier on health
QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's flying visit to Bundaberg resumed yesterday morning with a walk up Bourbong St.
Ms Palaszczuk and Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson, followed by a media pack of more than 20, visited book shops, purchased a calendar and had coffee before driving to Norville Pool to announce a council funding plan.
The only fly in the ointment of the walk was Henry Himsley.
The Bundaberg pensioner ambushed the premier and Ms Donaldson on the issue of health and the health transport system that takes patients from the region to Brisbane for treatment and home.
Mr Himsley is no stranger to health campaigning he was the leading voice that won a renal dialysis unit for the Gympie Hospital in 2006.
Back then he fronted then Premier Peter Beattie on the street about the issue.
Now a resident of Bundaberg Mr Himsley says the treatment of patients forced to endure long train rides home after major surgery in Brisbane was unacceptable.
Both he and his wife had endured the indignity of a long trip on public transport after an operation.
Mr Himsley said some train trips from Brisbane to Bundaberg the carriages resembled hospital wards.
"It's not good enough,” he said.
"Health needs to be a higher priority.”
After listening, the premier promised to look in to the situation and get back to Mr Himsley.
At Norville Pool Ms Palaszczuk stood-by Bundaberg MP Leanne Donaldson.
Ms Palaszczuk described the former agriculture minister as "just fantastic” but would not be drawn on if Ms Donaldson could be welcomed back into cabinet.
"I'm not even discussing those issues at present,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
"We are working incredibly hard locally and on the ground, but Leanne is doing a fantastic job.”