Thursday, May 25, 2017

Patient trips show need for real hospital reform

Posted by Jim on June 23, 2010

The fact that Maryborough patients have to travel to Maryborough for dialysis treatment is indicative of the need for real reform of the hospital system in the Wide bay Electorate according to the Greens candidate for Wide Bay, Dr Jim McDonald.

“Dialysis patients often need more than one session a week and travelling up and down the Bruce Highway for treatment is appalling, especially when patients requiring dialysis are feeling unwell.

“The neglect of health is also felt in the west of the electorate. Cancer patients in towns like Murgon and Goomeri have to take a return journey of up to 500 kilometres to Toowoomba for some cancer treatments and tests. That is not a system that is designed for patients.

“Free transport offered dialysis patients by the Queensland Minister for Health is not the central issue. Patient well-being is what it should be about and long, arduous trips for treatment or tests fail that criterion.

“Hospital and clinical resources in the whole of the Wide Bay electorate are poorly organised and it amounts to Government neglect of public patients.”

Dr McDonald said that the Rudd Government’s so-called health reforms must address the question of access to health services.

“Patients need reform rather than rhetoric. Real reform will drive an upgrade of Maryborough and Gympie hospitals to improve services across the electorate.

“Pressure on one hospital is a pressure on all the hospitals in our region. With population growth pushing up from the Sunshine Coast into Gympie, the situation will escalate.

“Communities need to have confidence that the smaller hospitals are not under any threat and expansion of services in the larger hospitals should reduce the need for trips to Brisbane except in cases of the highest medical emergency.”

“Real reform will address the present inequality of health service delivery in our region compared with the metropolitan area.

“But when Mr Rudd travelled to regional Queensland with health hand-outs, he ignored the electorate. Wide Bay is not a marginal Labor seat.

Media Release: 22 June 2010; letter published, Gympie Times, 23 June 2010

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Greens anticipate no Budget joy for Wide Bay

Posted by Jim on May 10, 2010

The Greens candidate for Wide Bay, Dr Jim McDonald, said that he didn’t expect the budget would bring much joy to the electorate.

He said the Government’s performance so far had left Wide Bay voters in the lurch.

“Where is the improvement of health services? Gympie and Maryborough hospitals need to be upgraded to service the region and take pressure off Nambour Hospital. Mr Rudd’s Health tour bypassed the electorate.

“Public patients in the west of the electorate have to travel to Toowoomba Hospital for some health services.

“This is a ludicrous arrangement that represents a failure of the Rudd and Howard Governments and the State Government.

“The region needs a decent rail system to connect it to the rest of South-east Queensland, but will Mr Swan deliver the necessary infrastructure funds?” he asked

“There is little evidence of planning for the Mary Valley. The ill-conceived Traveston Dam project ripped apart the the Mary Valley. The Federal Government needs to step in and ensure that the region becomes the food bowl for South-East Queensland. The lack of planning means no budget allocation.

“This is an immediate priority for managing food security in the face of climate change. But, the Rudd Government appears to have dropped its bundle on meaningful climate change measures.”

Dr McDonald said that a productive Mary Valley would also provide sorely needed jobs for the region.

“A responsible Budget would take a whole of region approach to sustainable job creation, infrastructure support, and improvement of services.

“There is little evidence of that,” he said.

Media Release 10 May 2009

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Forestry sell-off a sell-out to overseas investors?

Posted by Jim on April 15, 2010

The long-term sustainability of Gympie’s forestry industry could be decimated by the State sell-off of Forestry Plantations Queensland, the Greens candidate for the federal electorate of Wide Bay, Dr Jim McDonald, said today.

The Government’s documentation for tenders states that there is strong demand for Forestry Plantation Queensland’s products. If that is so, why would the Bligh Government sell off such a good asset to foreign buyers?

For the sake of $20 million of government investment a year in a healthy industry, which last year turned in $72.4 million of sales, the State is flogging off a viable asset.

It doesn’t have the moral right to do that. That industry has been developed over the long term by taxpayers’ money for the public purse,” Dr McDonald said.

He said the environmental record of some private firms in forestry industries here and overseas has been rightly the subject of concern.

Those concerns have been brought to Gympie and the Sunshine Coast by the same State Government that proposed the Traveston Dam.

The sale not only jeopardises the job security of 400 forestry workers in the medium term, but the overall economic health of the region if the workforce is cut.

There is a strong possibility that the forests in the Gympie and Sunshine Coast regions will be in foreign hands by June this year.

One likely purchaser is John Hancock Financial Services Inc., an American group of companies that has bought up a large section of the plantation and forests industry in Victoria.

Hancock’s clear felling practices in rain catchment areas and in koala habitats have been questioned by Victorian environmentalists concerned about the sustainability of Victorian timber resources.

Environmentalists have accused the Hancock company of decimating large tracts of koala habitat in the Strzelecki Ranges in South-East Victoria and they claim the company has failed to apply proper koala management practices,” he said.

I cannot see how it is the national interest to contemplate the sale of resources such as those owned by Forestry Plantations Queensland to a foreign investment company.

The Queensland Greens in Wide Bay support the unions and the community in objecting to this sell-off of what are fundamentally our resources,” he said.

Media Release, 13 April 2010, Published Gympie Times, 15 April 2010

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