When it comes to the forward planning for our hospitals, Labor have made them political footballs at the expense of the future health needs of local communities.
Each year taxpayers invest millions of dollars in major hospitals and health infrastructure. We need to make sure these investments are the right investments.
The former Bligh Labor Government closed and moved the Children’s Hospital, despite community objections. Labor then constructed a new Children’s Hospital without proper planning or a business case in the Premier’s own electorate. The project was originally estimated to cost $800 million but ended up costing taxpayers in excess of $1.4 billion.
There is no whole of Queensland planning body that brings together all the key players in health services to map out and monitor future health needs of the state.
In government, the LNP’s strong plans for public healthcare resulted in the largest ever funding package for public healthcare. In 2014-15 the Queensland Health budget surpassed $13.1 billion which represented an 18.6%, or $2 billion increase, on Labor’s last budget for Queensland health which was just $11.046 billion.
Under the former LNP Government we doubled the subsidy to help patients travel to our hospitals. Our $106.3 million investment in the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme meant the accommodation subsidy went from $30 to $60 per night. Equally, the LNP doubled mileage subsidy from 15 cents per kilometre to 30 cents – real help for people who live in the regions away from medical treatment.
OUR REAL PLAN
Given the success of the Schools Planning Commission, a Tim Nicholls-led LNP Government will also establish a Hospitals Planning Commission to manage the future planning of new and replacement hospitals across Queensland.
The Hospitals Planning Commission will be an independent body made up of key representatives from health organisations, business and the community. Its key task will be planning for the future hospital needs of 4.9 million Queenslanders.
The Commission will be providing key advice on where new hospitals and major health projects will go based on greatest need and take the politics out of these critical decisions.
The Commission will be supported by demographers and health statisticians to identify key drivers of demand for health services, including areas where there are higher than usual numbers of elderly, ageing and high users of tertiary health services.
The board of the Commission will comprise of 1 chairperson and 4 other members.
The LNP will invest $1.464 million over 3 years to deliver the Hospitals Planning Commission.