Hospitals in spotlight

QUEENSLAND Health’s “poor performance” in the Central Highlands will be put under the microscope in a high-ranking visit to the region today.

Australian Medical Association president Dr Richard Kidd and Emerald’s Dr Ewen McPhee, head of the Queensland Rural Doctors, will inspect the medical services framework at Blackwater, Emerald and outlying areas.

“Central Highlands communities and their doctors are being let down in so many ways but there are three key problems that can be solved,” Dr McPhee said.

“Worst of all, QH’s managers have tolerated severe deficiencies in their medical workforce for years.

“They have skilled locums available but instead of using them regularly for relief, they only call them in a crisis.

“Even critically busy maternity services have only one specialist doctor covering 24/7. It is unsustainable and risky and not what the community deserves.”

Dr McPhee said private GPs needed a “formal contribution” to expand practice infrastructure and bring more doctors to towns caught up in the resources boom.

The third element of the RDAQ push was for international medical graduates to receive proper support, training and access to Medicare.


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