Gladstone Practice managers are asking residents to share their concerns around health services addressed to the Queensland Health Minister and the Federal Minister for Regional Services.
Gladstone Practice managers are asking residents to share their concerns around health services addressed to the Queensland Health Minister and the Federal Minister for Regional Services.

‘Fear disaster’: Doctors deliver a message

GLADSTONE doctors’ practice managers have launched a campaign demanding better health services.

Patients are being encouraged to share their concerns about the Gladstone Hospital and GP hiring rules on postcards addressed to Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles and Federal Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government Mark Coulton respectively.

A petition asking for upgrades to the hospital was launched in August and was responded to in January.

Meanwhile a legislation change on July 1 means Gladstone practices must now hire Australian doctors or doctors who have worked in Australia for 10 years.

General practitioner Gaston Boulanger, who has been campaigning for better health services for years, said the postcards were the latest attempt for action.

“We as doctors fear disaster is about to happen if we don’t get a proper hospital,” Dr Boulanger said.

In a statement to The Observer, Mr Coulton said his core focus was to improve access to doctors in the regions.

“During my visit to Gladstone I met with local doctors and the wider health sector to discuss recruitment issues and challenges locally,” Mr Coulton said.

“The Rural Workforce Agency, the Rural Doctors Association and the Primary Health Network are working with community to develop a local workforce recruitment plan.”

Mr Miles acknowledged the passion of the Gladstone community in petitioning for greater investment at the Hospital.

“In the last five years, our government has delivered significant investment into Gladstone Hospital and supported the growth of staff across the facility,” Mr Miles said.

“Capital funding at Gladstone Hospital is unprecedented and the volume of care delivered to the Gladstone community has rapidly increased to meet growing demand.”

Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service was contacted for comment.