Gladstone’s health needs not forgotten: Butcher
GLADSTONE MP Glenn Butcher has reassured the community their health needs won’t be forgotten in the process of the purchase of the Mater Hospital.
As the sale of the hospital was planned by Mercy Health, Mr Butcher said he fought extremely hard to ensure the community’s health services would be retained and improved.
“The sale of the Gladstone Mater Hospital has been planned by Mercy Health for a long time and I fully understand community concern regarding loss of services,” Mr Butcher said.
“That’s why I fought for the State Government to purchase the facility, because the alternative for the local community was for this privately run business to close down completely with no prospect of the health facility reopening.
“The Queensland Government’s position on the Gladstone Mater hospital remains unchanged and we are committed to ensuring it remains a health facility for the benefit of the entire local community.”
Mr Butcher said Queensland Health would take over the Mater Hospital in October, as The Observer reported on Tuesday.
“Queensland Health do not run the Mater hospital or own the facility yet,” he said.
“As such what is currently occurring at the Mater Hospital regarding services is the result of Mercy Health’s commercial decision to close its Gladstone Mater Hospital, including cutting staff and stopping services more than two months before the handover of the facility.”
Maternity services have ceased at the Mater, Mr Butcher said, due to Mater Health’s commercial decisions.
“We have already seen maternity services cut at the Mater Hospital, a service that the Queensland Government has stepped in to continue at the Gladstone Base Hospital,” he said.
“CQ Health has begun consultation with private service providers operating from the private hospital to ensure a continuation of essential private health service delivery, such as oncology, during the transition.
“CQ Health is also engaging with private medical service providers who currently provide patient care from Gladstone Mater to determine their expectations and needs following the closure of the private facility.
“I will provide an update on those discussions once they have been finalised.”
Mercy Health, owners of the Mater Hospital, has been contacted for comment.