MP fears for Gladstone Hospital funding as new bill passes

GLADSTONE MP Liz Cunningham has raised concerns that Gladstone Hospital could be robbed of government grants after new laws were passed through State Parliament this week.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg on Tuesday ensured the Health Legislation Amendment Bill passed.

The bill aims to give hospital and health services across Queensland more control over their operations.

The changes to the law will also leave Queensland Health, the state's health body, with less responsibility for the state's 17 hospital and health services.

Mrs Cunningham said she feared the new independence of the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service would make it less eligible for receiving capital grants in the future.

Earlier this month the CQHHS announced that it had ended last financial year with almost $19 million in surplus.

"The decision gives autonomy to the hospital and health network," Mrs Cunningham said.

"The boards have a much more active role in determining health policy and services in each of the hospitals.

"But we can't step back from (the government) totally," Mrs Cunningham said.

Mr Springborg said the government was not shifting its responsibility, but better utilising its assets.

"The ability to look at and better utilise assets is something that our hospital and health services should be doing," he said.