Kelli Downey
Kelli Downey Chrissy Harris

Partnership could fix health woes

ANOTHER report and it seems another argument.

The recent release of last year's September quarter statistics for Gladstone Hospital has sparked yet more public debate over the state of our health services.

While the statistics suggest that, yes, our hospital's emergency department waiting times are better than the latest national performance and, yes, no services have been removed from the Gladstone Hospital in the past 12 months, the fact is this still isn't good enough for many.

No matter how glowing the report or positive the indicators are that things have improved, we are never going to have the satisfaction of our health service being up to the job, especially with our growing population.

It's not a personal attack on the competence of local hospital staff. Everyone knows they do their utmost with the staffing levels and equipment provided.

What we don't need is to play the blame game: little is achieved and it trivialises matters like these.

Instead, we need assurance from Queensland Health that it is willing to provide the funds and adequate staffing needed to ensure our health workers are up to the job of dealing with daily emergencies.

Yes, we know there is a worldwide shortage of doctors and that regional centres like Gladstone feel it the most.

If we can't attract the doctors here then we need other options to ensure our health services can cater for the community. Simple you would think?

Maybe central Queensland orthopaedic surgeon Kim Bulwinkel is on the right track in suggesting there needs to be a proper public-private partnership if we are to have any chance of providing the health services needed.

What is apparent is that it needs more than a couple of stitches to heal the gaping wound.