Local hospital board on its way

SOUTH Burnett residents will have a greater say in how the Kingaroy Hospital is run from July 1

after legislation passed in State Parliament last week.

In an attempt to decentralise Queensland's 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 Kingaroy Hospital will remain as part of the Darling Downs Health Board, but will see locals appointed as board members.

Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington said she had pushed hard for a local representative from the region to be part of the board.

"This new legislation will make the decisions much more localised," she said.

"It will give regional hospitals a more hands on approach to decision making and hopefully we will get a local representative soon."

Ms Frecklington said local governments would set up an auxiliary board and have members of the public sitting on them.

"The auxiliary board will advise the hospital about services or issues residents have," she said.

"It won't change the region.

"It just means there will be more localised decision making."

Ms Frecklington said the new structure would provide further assistance to the resource starved hospitals.

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."

Ms Frecklington said the government had received strong support for the new legislation from Queensland hospitals.

"This is something that Queensland hospitals had said they wanted to go back to," she said.

"And it is something the Newman Government promised it would deliver."

South Burnett

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