Wide Bay to benefit from $12.13-million funding injection

FRASER COAST patients will benefit from a $12.13-million injection to boost health services in the region.

Fraser Coast patients will benefit from a $12.13-million injection to boost health services in the region. PHOTO: Supplied.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath said the funding would go towards employing more frontline healthcare workers and improving patient outcomes at both Maryborough and Hervey Bay hospitals.

This includes opening up an extra ward at Maryborough Hospital and increasing emergency department staffing at both hospitals to meet rising demand.

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“We are committed to delivering free, world-class health care to all Queenslanders no matter where they live,” said Minister D’Ath.

“That is why we are increasing funding to the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service to ensure they can continue to provide this care to their community.

“A key part of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to ensuring that Queenslanders continue to receive the best healthcare possible is supporting an additional 9,475 frontline health workers over the next four years.

“This includes an additional 5,800 nurses, 1,500 new doctors and an extra 475 paramedics across Queensland.”

Member for Hervey Bay Adrian Tantari said $1.42 million of the funding injection would be made available as early as April this year.

“This funding will help increase the number of frontline staff across the emergency department and general medicine teams at Hervey Bay and Maryborough hospitals, which means so much to our community,” said Mr Tantari.

“An additional $10.71 million will be included in Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service’s budget as of next financial year (2021-2022).

“This will be ongoing funding and will significantly increase the number of frontline staff across the Fraser Coast.”

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Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders welcomed the additional funding to the community.

“The staff at Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service are dedicated to helping their community and this funding will help them do just that,” said Mr Saunders.

“This funding is important to help us address the increased demand for health services in the Wide Bay region and includes opening 18 beds in Maryborough Hospital’s recently refurbished Ward 1, from early in the 2021-22 financial year.

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“The funding will also provide the region with a significant boost to employment and the delivery of care. It’s expected to create at least 50 permanent full-time equivalent positions including nursing, medical, allied health, administration and operational support roles.”

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Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board Chair Peta Jamieson said she was thrilled with the extra funding, which was in response to steady increases in demand on the Fraser Coast in recent years.

“Last year we commissioned a peer exchange process, led by our local clinicians in conjunction with Queensland’s Health Improvement Unit, which enabled us to draw on the input and experience of experts and clinicians from similar units around the state,” Ms Jamieson said.

“That resulted in a report that made recommendations about what our key needs were, in the face of increased demand from a growing and ageing community.

“The recommendations carried significant resource implications, however, and we’re thrilled the Queensland Government has seen our need and increased our ongoing funding to enable us to meet current and future demand.

“This will make a significant difference to our emergency and medical inpatient service provision and will enable us to provide more of our community with the right care, in the right place, at the right time.”

This press release was issued by the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service on Friday, 19 March 2021.

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