Newman’s health cuts hurting rural Queensland: Clive Palmer

Federal Member for Fairfax

Media release

Queensland Government health cuts continued to create extreme shortages of health care workers in the state’s rural and remote areas, Palmer United Party federal leader and Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer said today.

Doctors and nurses were being forced to work double the amount of hours to cope with the demand, Mr Palmer said.

Figures released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare highlight a fundamental increase in the number of professional health care workers in major cities compared with the bush.

The city figure is 426 full time workers for every 100,000 residents compared to just 257 for every 100,000 people in remote areas, with the majority of those professionals being nurses or midwives.

The Rural Doctors Association has said there is a significant need for change, with simply not enough doctors in remote towns to cope with the demand.

“This is an intolerable situation which the Newman government needs to fix as a matter of priority,’’ Mr Palmer said.

“For too long Campbell Newman has been focusing on peripheral matters rather than the health and welfare of Queenslanders.

“The Newman Government needs to place more emphasis on retraining those health professionals within the inner cities, so that they have the necessary skill levels to be able to relocate to assist those areas in the bush that need better health services.”