Power given back to regional hospitals

REGIONAL hospitals will have a greater say over their operations and their needs from July 1 after legislation passed state parliament.

In an attempt to decentralise Queensland's embattled health system, Health Minister Lawrence Springborg introduced legislation to invest power back in regional health networks and put the head office in an oversight capacity.

The bill was passed on Wednesday night.

Ancillary boards will also be established to provide advice and guidance to health and hospital boards.

Mr Springborg stressed these boards were not another level of administration but a source of consultation.

The Health Legislation (Health Practitioner Regulation National Law) Amendment Bill will see the formation of 17 health and hospital boards in Queensland.

The boards will have control over employment, assets and local decision-making.

Nanango MP Deb Frecklington said the new structure would provide further assistance to the resource starved hospitals in her electorate, particularly Kingaroy Hospital.

She said the renal unit was in a demountable hut, with chemicals and medications stacked up against the wall, and another hospital was missing an x-ray unit.

"…in my opinion the establishment of the boards will provide some assistance with services such as x-rays," she said.

"They will be able to discuss with local members of our community what is needed."

Gympie MP David Gibson said his local hospital was "subsumed" by a huge health district stretching from the Sunshine Coast to Bundaberg.

He hopes Gympie Hospital will have a case for having its own ancillary board.


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