Uncertainty over future of 59 Gladstone Mater hospital jobs
THE jobs of 59 employees of Gladstone’s Mater private hospital still hang in the balance after health service CEO Steve Williamson sent an email detailing the future of the facility to staff.
In the email, the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service boss encouraged Mater staff to register for casual employment opportunities.
The Observer has previously been told by a Mater Hospital spokesman that 59 locals are employed at the facility.
“We anticipate there will be an opportunity to provide employment for some key frontline clinical positions from the current Gladstone Mater staff to work in our integrated Gladstone Hospital Campus,” Mr Williamson said.
“Where sustainable and possible, CQ Health will maximise local employment.
“As the planned expansion of the public health services is realised, more employment opportunities will become available and former mater staff are also encouraged to register for casual employment and vacancies as they arise.”
The Mater private hospital was listed for sale by its operator Mercy Health in April 2019.
Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles was joined by Regional Development and Manufacturing Minister, Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher, when they announced in Gladstone that the government would be buying the hospital on April 9, 2020.
The Mater Hospital has been delivering private health services to the people of Gladstone for 21 years.
Mater Health’s regional executive director Gerard Wyvill has said it was not financially viable to continue operating the hospital.
“Unfortunately, it is no longer sustainable for Mater to run our private hospital facility at Gladstone,” he said.
“After many years of service to the community, Mater has taken the difficult decision to cease private hospital services in Gladstone.
“In October 2018 Mater closed its maternity service and in January 2020 reduced services to be day surgery only.
“Mater is closing the service as it’s no longer viable to run our Gladstone private healthcare service.”
Mr Wyvill said the decline in births was a factor that made operating the hospital no longer financially viable.
“The number of births at Gladstone Mater had been declining for several years prior and to run a successful maternity service you require a minimum number of births to ensure the viability of the service,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the service was no longer reaching that level with less than ten births a month.
“During this closure of this service, Mater worked in partnership with Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service, to ensure the continuity of care for our patients.”