Entrance to Toowoomba Hospital Critical Care Ward including the Intensive Care Unit.
Entrance to Toowoomba Hospital Critical Care Ward including the Intensive Care Unit. Kevin Farmer

INTENSIVE DISAPPOINTMENT: Cr Trevor hits out at ICU trigger

ACTING mayor Chris Trevor has expressed extreme disappointment at the population trigger used to determine the region's eligibility for an Intensive Care Unit.

As reported in Tuesday's Observer, Gladstone's population trigger for the reinstatement of an ICU or High Dependency Unit sits at 100,000 residents.

The Gladstone Regional Council area had a population of just over 67,000 during the 2016 census.

Cr Trevor said it was disappointing to see Gladstone's health services being slowly consumed by Rockhampton through the "hub and spoke model".

"What really disappointed me was the timing when we might get an Intensive Care or High Dependency Unit was based on statistical assessment of once we reached 100,000 people," he said.

"Based on our current population projections, the chances of us getting an ICU or HDU back, which was taken from us in the first place, we could be waiting 20-plus years before we get the same level of service and consideration when it comes to health services for our community as Rockhampton is getting.

"If it was good enough for Gladstone to have an ICU and HDU in the 1980s with a population of approximately 20,000-25,000, why is it not possible for us to have one again when our population has increased threefold?

"You hear the helicopters and planes taking off in the middle of the night and the expense associated with that must be enormous and we don't deserve to be transported around Queensland like cattle.

"We are being treated like second-rate citizens."


Just because you're young doesn't mean you're immune to life-threatening medical issues.
Intensive Care Unit sudok1

Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service executive director of Gladstone and Banana, Joanne Glover, said the population trigger is set by Queensland Health.

"While current population trends indicate Gladstone would reach the required population after 2030, CQ Health is planning the delivery of a critical care centre - which would include an Intensive Care Unit - sooner," she said.

"Our very clear vision in Destination 2030: Great Care for Central Queenslanders is to deliver a comprehensive general hospital for the Gladstone region.

"That vision clearly identifies Gladstone as a key hub facility for the Gladstone City region."