Candidates fight for Noosa's healthcare
AS THE state election looms, Noosa candidates are preparing to fight for Noosa residents' access to first class health care.
Noosa Labor spokesman Mark Denham has called on the Federal Labor party to put pressure on the government to fund the additional 15 places required for the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital to open its medical school.
Mr Denham said Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick had written to Commonwealth Ministers on several occasions and the Palaszczuk Government had offered to fund 50% of the cost for the 15 essential places during the transition phase.
"I want an acceptable level of health services in the Noosa and Sunshine Coast areas, and I want our health services to be able to cope with the demand that is currently being placed on them," Mr Denham said.
Noosa MP Glen Elmes, however, said Mr Denham needed to check his facts before demanding action from the LNP.
Mr Elmes said the school had originally expected 35 places for students, but Griffith University had requested another 15.
"Griffith University has requested federal funding for an additional 15 students, taking the total to 50," he said.
"The Federal Government is currently undertaking a nationwide review of all medical schools, many of which are training up to 10 times the number proposed for the Sunshine Coast,'' Mr Elmes said.
"This review is expected to be completed by April.
"The ALP spokesman for Noosa should be aware that the Labor State Government have offered internships to the additional 15 doctors, if the need for them is demonstrated."
Mr Elmes said there will be a surplus of trained doctors in 13 years, with the extra staff dispensed to rural and regional areas.
"An oversupply of 7052 doctors is predicted by 2030 throughout Australia.
"If the review finds that, despite the oversupply, there are schools, most likely in regional and rural areas, where the numbers are needed, then those places will be funded."
Greens candidate Joe Shlegeris said neither Labor nor LNP state governments had bothered to confirm positions for medical students at the Kawana hospital while it was undergoing construction.
"No one ever checked to see if they could get an allocation of medical student positions," Mr Shlegeris said.
"This is reckless management of the worst sort."
Back home, Mr Shlegeris said the mismanagement of funds for the SCUH was reducing medical services in Noosa.
"Everything about the development of SCUH has been negative for hospital services in Noosa," Mr Shlegeris said.
"It's okay to have a trophy hospital with world-class facilities down there, but most health care is more routine.
"Decent, effective health care for Noosa has to be available here."
Mr Elmes said he was working with all parties to ensure the future of the Noosa Hospital.
"I have been working with the Queensland Health Minister and staff and am assured the ALP will also ensure the future of our hospital," he said.
"Both major parties have put politics aside and I suggest the minor parties and ill-informed party representatives acknowledge this."