Tuesday June 27, 2017
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Saving Qld's Bush Hospitals - Eidsvold

Towns Like Eidsvold Have Become Synonymous With Regional Queensland's Protest Against The Newman Regime.

Consultation with community on any level is not a forté of Queensland's Newman Government. Upon coming to power, Campbell Newman and his Health Minister, Lawrence Springborg, immediately instigated a plan of passing decisions on health to the hospital boards. Budgets were significantly reduced but Newman assured Queensland that the boards would act in the best interest of the local community as they were made up of highly skilled professionals from the local area. All the while both Newman and Springborg stated they would have over-riding power to revoke any bad decisions the board made.

This hands-off approach allowed Newman to take credit for positive outcomes and defer negatives back to the board. The strategy has roots in WWII occupied France, with the Vichy Regime in which the Nazis referred decisions to the sponsored government.  It allows for a third party to implement  plans while the regime remains aloof. Any good news stories that then eventuate can be seized upon by the Government media units.

Or so the Nemanists thought until they came up against the little regional town of Eidsvold.  Locals believed that there was a surreptitious plan of Wide Bay Hospital & Health Services (WBHHS) to close Eidsvold hospital. They 'leaked' this information to the media outlets.

Following the story was WIN News Wide Bay's Caitlin Holding. On Tuesday 15th, she was able to confirm with the board the decision to close Eidsvold. She was later to go on to tweet:
The cat was out of the bag and locals rallied to a community meeting on Monday 21st.

LNP State MP for Callide and Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney had stated that Eidsvold was not sustainable because it only had an average of 1 patient per day. He was no where to be found, when locals confronted the WBHHS board.

In the week prior, Campbell Newman and his wife Lisa, had undertaken a grand tour of regional Queensland and stated that Eidsvold and Moura should remain open. Springborg quickly backpedalled, blaming the board for not exhausting all avenues of cost reduction before reaching for the closure option.

However, judging by the twitter stream of two locals below at the Eidsvold community meeting, it seems the original plan was to shut down the little hospital all together. As the below twitter feed reveals, there was significant buck-passing with the board stating that the Director General had the ultimate say in the decisions the board made.

Generally speaking, both Newman and Springborg had done their fair share of obfuscating in the lead up to hospital cuts. They'd blamed the Federal ALP for not giving them enough funds, they'd blamed the expensive failed payroll implementation and they'd blamed the Bligh Government.

In the end, though, they left the health board to face the local community.
Uncertainty Remains Over Eidsvold Hospital Uncertainty Remains Over Eidsvold Hospital Hundreds Turn Out For Eidsvold Hospital Meeting Hundreds Turn Out For Eidsvold Hospital Meeting

 

Eidsvold Community Meeting 21 January 2013 - Read The Twitter Feeds From Two People Who Were There:

 

@bamboozled3's on the ground twitter coverage: @bamboozled3's on the ground twitter coverage: @RFossen's on the ground twitter coverage: @RFossen's on the ground twitter coverage:
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