Health redundancies will cut deep in regional areas

RELEVANT OR REDUNDANT? Nurses at Emerald Hospital during the height of the payroll debacle in 2010 are now being challenged to apply for voluntary redundancies, as are other Queensland Health employees in the central health district.
RELEVANT OR REDUNDANT? Nurses at Emerald Hospital during the height of the payroll debacle in 2010 are now being challenged to apply for voluntary redundancies, as are other Queensland Health employees in the central health district. Di Stanley

THE embattled Queensland Health, scrambling to recover $108 million statewide, has set its sights on central Queensland with a call for staff to apply for voluntary redundancy packages.

Queensland Nurses' Union acting secretary Des Elder said more positions were set to be cut as the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Services board sought to recover a $4.8m funding gap it said was caused by the Federal Government.

The QNU confirmed three positions had been cut since late last year, with another two in the crosshairs.

"It will have quite a dramatic effect on people trying to navigate the health system," Mr Elder said.

As well as the redundant Emerald Community Health Interface Program nurse, palliative care co-ordinator and childhood immunisation nurse, Emerald's wound care and cardiac rehabilitation nurses were under review, he added.

"Those services provide essential services to the rural and regional communities through health programs, early interventions and referrals," Mr Elder said.

Central Highlands Mayor Peter Maguire said the State Government had failed to involve the council in any deliberations about services and would have to wait until further announcements for more information.

But he said he would take up the issue with Premier Campbell Newman on Friday when he was in Emerald.

I would hate to see any loss of services in Emerald, Springsure, Blackwater and the Gemfields, especially when we are in a growing region.

 Mayor Peter Maguire

"Health was an issue we were going to ask about anyway," Cr Maguire said.

But Central Queensland Medicare Local deputy chairman Dr Ewen McPhee said the health sector had previously made moves towards privatisation including transferring the Emerald Hospital's diabetic and podiatry services to the CQML, and activating early referrals for emergency department patients to general practitioners.

"It is unsettling but ultimately we should be able to preserve the health dollar for where it is really needed and reduce the waste and inefficiencies that have existed in the system for a long time," Dr McPhee said.

"If people are concerned then they should talk to the politicians, Maree Geraghty and her officers, or the chair of the board, Charles Ware."

The QNU yesterday said 60 positions were to be cut from the Townsville Hospital, with more than 19 nursing and midwifery positions in rural and community health services, and more than five in cancer care units.

No hospitals in the Isaac region are believed to be impacted by the changes.

Staff have until February 4 to apply for voluntary redundancies.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Local jobs a priority

LOCAL JOBS ARE A PRIORITY: Senator Chris Ketter is in Emerald for a round-table discussion about local jobs.

Labor to hold a round-table discussing local jobs.

CQ housing market starts to recover

MARKET RECOVERY: Things are looking up for CQ real estate.

CQ housing market continues to gain traction says Herron Todd White.

Getting the right message

Bridie Duggan who was awarded the Northern Territory Australian of the Year.

Bridie receives top honour as NT Young Australian of the Year.

Local Partners

WATER UPDATE: Supply improves thanks to rain, residents

UPDATE SUNDAY 5.30PM: WATER supply to some CQ towns that was placed on emergency restrictions has cleared up due to rain and residents adhering to restrictions.

Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Beating the heat in the school holidays

Ellie Dyer on the monkey bars at a fun filled playground.

Looking for something to do these school holidays?

Santa is coming to Isaac libraries

CHRISTMAS CRAFT: Join in the special Story Time sessions at Isaac Libraries December 5 to 9 and create your own Christmas craft like Sophia, Evie and Ashley Williams.

Santa is dropping in to the libraries in the Isaac Region.

Chris Pratt's 'mental preparation' for going nude on screen

Actor Chris Pratt

New film took some mental preparation for Chris Pratt

Spiderman star used fake name to research role

Spiderman star Tom Holland.

Spiderman star went undercover at Brooklyn highschool

What's on the small screen this week

A scene from the TV documentary Running Wild: Australia's Camels.

TWO new Aussie docos will pique your interest.

EXCLUSIVE: Meet Robert Irwin, wildlife photographer

SNAPPER: Apart from wildlife, photography is Robert Irwin's great passion.

Steve's boy has a passion for photography

Louis Tomlinson's tribute to late mother

Louis Tomlinson's new single is a tribute to his late mother.

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!