Moura pleas for public consultation on hospital closure
WITH news that the LNP Premier of Queensland, Campbell Newman, is back in control of the state, residents of Moura have turned their attention to the man who they hope will step in and demand an improved performance from the government's Central Queensland Hospital and Health Services Board, in regard to the closure of town's local hospital.
Community advocate Jim Pearce described community reaction to the hospital shutdown as absolutely amazing in a statement released on Sunday.
Residents of Moura have assembled a picket point outside the hospital as a means of demonstrating the community feeling and commitment to keep their hospital open and delivering health services to 2000 local and 1500 non resident workers as well as 150 rural families who rely on Moura for health care.
"I have never worked with this number of people who are passionate and focused on overturning the decision of the Central Queensland Health and Hospital Services Board," Mr Pearce said.
"We can't understand how a group of government selected and appointed citizens can get it so wrong. They have simply failed to implement the principles of open and accountable community consultation.
"Board members sat behind closed doors and made a decision that would take away a community hospital and put thirty four people out of work and bring a sense of hopelessness down on the Moura and District population.
"The deputy premier and health minister have done nothing but run the government line - dismissing community concern by blaming the hospital for having low occupancy rates."
"All rural hospitals have issues with patient occupancy, but we must remember that hospitals, ambulance and fire services are essential services that are paid for by the tax payer."
Mr Pearce said the CQHHS Board has now changed their original decision and will continue taking hospital admissions after Monday.
"The CQHHS Board will now meet with hospital staff late Thursday before attending a two hour plus meeting at the Kianga Hall, with the people of Moura.
"We hope they bring commonsense to the meeting, with a commitment to having a meaningful, transparent consultation and a not do as we say spin."
Mr Pearce said the best outcome for the community would be for the CQHHS Board to put on the table options where the population has the opportunity to have input, share the decisions and take some ownership in the final outcome.
He further stated that a three to six month time frame to complete the process would certainly win the support of the people.