Tuesday June 27, 2017

Saving Qld's Bush Hospitals - Moura

Written by David Marler
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The Queensland Town Of Moura Fights To Save Its Hospital



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Moura Hospital To Remain Open


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When reports of the first little towns to lose their hospitals to health budget cuts began to fill my twitter feed, they read like fallen European towns in WWII. Only, they weren't from distant lands. They were right here, in Queensland 2013.
Early on in the Newman regime, both Premier Campbell Newman and Health Minister Lawrence Springborg distanced themselves from negativity surrounding the Health portfolio by placing decisions in the hands of the 16 hospital boards that divided the State's hospital system. Always at the ready to take the credit for good news, it gave them a political escape hatch if something went wrong.

'It's the boards decision'. This was the initial excuse the Newman regime used as the news broke that Moura Hospital would close. Deputy Premier and State member for Callide, Jeff Seeney, had commented that regional hospitals averaging one patient per day were not sustainable.

As the local community rallied and the information became more frenzied both Newman and Springborg backpedlled blaming the board and saying they wanted it to remain open.

In the wake of the Moura community meeting, Newman began a new tactic of blaming the Federal government and Queensland Nurses Union for the job losses.

Above: Premier Newman rarely tweets. He usually leaves it up to his media unit who finish correspondence with a 'PT'.
Both he and Springborg had spent most of 2012 explaining health cuts were due to the financial extremes left to the state by the previous Bligh Government. This morphed into the expensive Queensland-Health-payroll-implementation excuse (still unresolved).

By December 2012, while boasting that the Newman regime had boosted the health budget by $800 million, Springborg had begun to weave into the media the Federal Government's 'failure' to supply $103 million in funding. By January of 2013, this had become the Federal-Cut-To-Queensland-Health & job losses were now attributed to it.

The Newman regime's media unit went into overdrive. They endorsed an extraordinary stunt which used prior conjoined twins Trishna and Krishna, pleading with the Federal Government to spare the Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) which appeared in the Herald Sun. The Premier boasted about the frontpage article on Brisbane 4BC radio.

Trishna and Krishna had been well known nationally for having been separated in a difficult 32-hour operation at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital. (That's in Victoria.)

In an interview today on 612 ABC Brisbane, Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan pointed out that the contribution from the Commonwealth to Queensland would increase by 21% over the next four years. Any changes to allocation to Queensland were as a result of indexation which is used across all portfolios (Education, Health, etc) to calculate the allocation to a given state.

It's an agreement, it seems, the Newman regime has a problem with. The appropriate forum to make changes to that is at the 2-3 Heads of Treasuries meetings held each year, not in the public media space.
Above: The Premier's Team (PT) follow up on his 4BC interview.

Unless, of course, you want to play the political blame game.

Outside of the LNP membership, Queenslanders are now largely mistrustful of the Newman Government. With Newman going from a pre-election assurance that public service jobs were safe to cutting 14,000, it's unlikely the change of blame will fool anyone.

When the dust settles, the Newman regime is likely to return the blame game to the failed Queensland Health payroll system. With a $5 million inquiry underway headed by Richard Chesterman QC, no doubt the Newman regime propaganda unit is ready to flood the press with 'he-said-she-said' revelations of the previous Bligh Government.


The Moura community meeting was held on 17 January 2013 - Read the twitter feed from @bamboozled3 who was in the crowd:


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

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