Race to find new hospital operator
NEGOTIATIONS between Pulse Health and the South Burnett Regional Council have failed to keep the South Burnett Private Hospital open.
Staff at the Kingaroy facility were told on Friday the doors would close on June 30.
Mayor Wayne Kratzmann said he was determined to find another private operator to take over the running of the 22 bed hospital, which the council owned, but the clock was ticking.
"The issue is we've only got six or seven weeks to do that," he said.
"I believe if the doors shut, to have it re-opened would be much more onerous than if we can transfer it before the doors close.
"A new general hospital is sorely needed, now we've got a double whammy."
"I refuse to give up."
Pulse Health managing director and chief executive officer Phillipa Blakey said nothing the South Burnett Regional Council could offer would make the hospital financially viable.
"If there was a way, if there was anything I could have thought of I would have suggested it," she said.
"The reality is the losses that we've been making most months are much greater than what the rent (imposed by the council) is.
"I'm really mindful that it's a big blow to the local community and it's a big blow to staff and I regret that."
Ms Blakey said Pulse Health worked hard during the past financial year to turn the hospital's fortunes around but nothing had worked.
Nanango MP Deb Frecklington said the closure would leave a large hole in the provision of health services in the South Burnett.
"It has been my goal since being elected to achieve a brand new hospital for the South Burnett, and in the event of the private hospital closure, the need has never been so great," she said.
"Over the past three years, our former LNP Government and I worked closely with the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service Board to improve the level of health service in the South Burnett, particularly at the Kingaroy Hospital.
"I believe this has been very successful but at the same time, it was always with the intention of continuing to work with the private health sector in Kingaroy."