Springfield's looming health care emergency

GREATER Springfield residents are being sent to Toowoomba, Ipswich and Brisbane for hospital services which should be available on their doorstep.

Springfield Rise resident Sharanjeet Somal was sent to Toowoomba and Logan Hospitals for a specialist appointment after being referred to Ipswich Hospital.

The Somal's received letters from the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service pointing to Toowoomba and Logan as the closest public hospital that provided the particular outpatient specialist services before they managed to get an appointment in Brisbane.

West Moreton Health's executive director for Ipswich, Luke Worth, has since reviewed the case and revealed the decision was made in error, due to confusion surrounding the patient's postcode.

Mr Worth said the specialist referral had been backdated to ensure there was no additional waiting time.

But the focus of Springfield residents is on improving services locally.

Jaswinder, Sharanjeet and Ruhika Somal in their new Springfield Rise home.
Jaswinder, Sharanjeet and Ruhika Somal in their new Springfield Rise home.

Neil Coupland's mother was sent to Ipswich and Brisbane hospitals recently.

The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce President said the current system was "crazy".

"We need an emergency department (in Springfield)," Mr Coupland said.

With Springfield's population sitting about 36,000 and expected to rise to 138,000 in 2030 the issue isn't going away.

Mr Coupland said the Mater needed to be expanded to include emergency, ICU and maternity services.

"The Mater isn't that big. They can't do surgery here and don't have an emergency department.

"It's been open nearly three years, it's time to start building the next stage."

At the Greater Springfield Health Summit held yesterday community members called on Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare Catherine King and local Federal Member Milton Dick to help in getting an emergency department, ICU, maternity and mental health services based in Springfield.

During the summit Mr Coupland said his mother was moved from hospital to hospital recently.

She was first sent to the Mater at Springfield, was then transferred to Ipswich Hospital for surgery but ended up at the PA in Brisbane and then back to Ipswich for rehabilitation.

While day surgery is available at the Springfield Mater, without an ICU they can't do much apart from hip, knee and shoulder replacements.

Another speaker at the forum said Springfield had the highest birth record per postcode yet there was no maternity services meaning mums have to travel to Ipswich or Brisbane City.

While another community member said there was "no mental health facility" in Greater Springfield.

Mr Dick said he would work to make sure the state and federal government kept investing in hospital services in Springfield.

"We've made a good start with health services, but the feedback I'm getting almost daily is that we have got to keep expanding," he said.

Mr Dick also said GP access and dental care for seniors and young people were big problems and he would like to see more early intervention dental programs in the area.

"I'll keep fighting to make sure the government expands services."

This comes after the Mater Group last month admitted there was no timeline to deliver stage two of the private hospital in Springfield.


Mater Springfield Services

STAGE one of the $85 million Mater Private Hospital in Springfield was completed in 2015.

The hospital has 80 beds for overnight and day patients and includes a dedicated day oncology service.

Through an agreement with Metro South and West Moreton Hospital and Health Services, Mater Health Services provides treatment and care to 4800 uninsured patients each year, in addition to insured patients.

The hospital has four operating theatres, inpatient wards, a day surgery unit and medical imaging services.

A state-of-the-art cancer care centre offers medical oncology via Mater Hospital and radiation oncology.provided by Radiation Oncology Centres. There are 15 medical oncology treatment bays and one linear accelerator for radiation therapy treatment.

Specialist services like gynaecology, general medicine, general surgery and more can be accessed through visiting private specialists.

There'a fold-away bed in every room and no set visiting hours for family centred care. The hospital also features a dietician approved room service menu and communal healing garden.

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