Click here to read my speech in full – 160218 – Mental Health Bill
Click here to read my speech in full – 160218 – Mental Health Bill
Local MPs Andrew Powell and Wyatt Roy are demanding to know why an $11.7 million Caboolture Hospital expansion – involving 32 extra hospital beds and up to 15 more emergency treatment spaces – has been dumped by the Palaszczuk government.
Mr Powell, the state member for Glass House, unveiled the project during January’s Queensland election campaign along with then Health Minister Lawrence Springborg and former state members Lisa France (Pumicestone) and Darren Grimwade (Morayfield).
But Mr Powell and Longman federal MP Mr Roy say the plan vanished in the new state Labor government’s first budget.
“We vowed to boost Caboolture Hospital’s frontline services under a re-elected LNP government – on top of a commitment to build an additional 100 car parking spaces,” Mr Powell said.
“The entire upgrade was locked in to the forward budget and not linked to asset sales.”
Sixteen extra general medicine beds, 12 cardiac beds and 4 coronary beds were set to be delivered for $7.2 million. A further $4.5 million would have boosted the ED treatment spaces from 30 to 45 – a 50 per cent increase.
“If you talk to any of the clinical staff at Caboolture Hospital, they would tell you how desperately needed these upgrades are and how relieved they were to know they had been approved and budgeted,” Mr Powell said.
He and Mr Roy are now calling on local Labor state members to guarantee the extra beds and car park will go ahead.
“While Labor is great at the political spin and lies, the facts speak for themselves – under the former LNP state government, there were 75 more nurses and 122 more clinical staff at Caboolture Hospital than previously,” Mr Roy said.
“Now, with Caboolture Hospital treating more patients than ever before, it is absolutely vital that our local doctors and nurses get this further injection of resources.
“But not a dollar has been allocated by the current Labor state government to a vital expansion of beds within the specialist facilities that the health of our community depends on.”
Mr Roy said budget papers showed 1041 more nurses in Queensland hospitals during the Newman government than in the previous Bligh Labor government.
He said in the last election campaign the Newman government had also pledged 2654 extra doctors, nurses and health practitioners over the next three years.
“Meanwhile, the federal Coalition government is increasing funding to Queensland hospitals by 27 per cent over the next four years,” Mr Roy said.
“And Queensland’s GST share will grow by 48 per cent or $5.6 billion over the next four years.”
Media contact, Matt Fynes-Clinton, 0421 059 438
The Palaszczuk-Gordon Government are failing to even get the simple tasks done with Ministers response times blowing out to 11 weeks.
Member for Glass House, Andrew Powell MP, wrote to the Minister for Health on 27 March asking for answers on their plans for car parking at the Caboolture Hospital – and is still waiting on a reply.
“It’s unacceptable that constituents are having to wait this long to get a simple yes or no answer to whether the Palaszczuk-Gordon Government intends to keep the LNP promise to deliver more car parking at the Caboolture Hospital.
“For years, the people of Glass House, Pumicestone and Morayfield in particular have been crying out for additional car parking at this extremely busy hospital. The region is continuing to grow steadily and extra car parking is vital to ensuring the Hospital continues to offer the very best care to its patients and visitors.
The LNP promised to deliver 100 additional car parks at the Caboolture Hospital if re-elected. That promise was backed up by finding in the budget – not reliant on Strong Choices or any outside funding source.
“I am calling on the Minister to reply to my correspondence and tell the community whether they intend to allocate these much needed funds, as budgeted, and deliver the extra car parks for Caboolture Hospital,” Mr Powell concluded.
[ENDS] 11 June 2015
Media Enquiries – Alaina Megson 5435 2013
Free Breast Cancer Screening will be held in Maleny from 14 May to 4 June at the Maleny Hospital. The service is available to women aged 40 years and over. Women aged 50 to 74 are particularly encouraged to attend. Phone 13 20 50 for more details.
The 2015 HESTA Australian Nursing Awards have opened for nominations and Queenslanders are being encouraged to put forward their recommendations for nurses and midwives who go above and beyond in their service to our community. The awards are being held in Queensland for the first time and have three categories including Outstanding Graduate, Team Innovation and Nurse of the Year. With the Caboolture, Nambour and Maleny Public Hospitals on our doorstop, I’m sure many of you could name at least one nurse that you either know in our community or has treated you at one of our hospitals. This is your best opportunity to allow them to be publicly recognised for the outstanding care they provide. All you need to do is make a nomination by 31 July 2015 by completing the online nomination form found at www.hestaawards.com.au.
Andrew Powell MP
Member for Glass House
11 March 2015
Labor slammed for cutting Wait Time Guarantee
Member for Glass House, Andrew Powell MP, has slammed Labor’s move to axe the LNP’s hugely successful Wait Time Guarantee.
Mr Powell said Health Minister Cameron Dick was playing politics with patient wellbeing and urged him to reverse his decision.
“The results are in – more Queensland patients are getting elective surgery on time thanks to the LNP’s Wait Time Guarantee,” he said.
“In February, the first month of the Wait Time Guarantee, both the Metro North HHS and the Sunshine Coast HHS posted outstanding results.
“At Nambour Hospital, 100 percent of patients received their surgery on time across all categories – urgent, semi-urgent and non-urgent.
“While at the Caboolture Hospital, 100 percent of patients received their urgent surgery, 99 percent of patients received their semi-urgent surgery and 100 percent of non-urgent patients receiving on time surgery on time.
“It just doesn’t make any sense why Labor would want to scrap Australia’s first surgery guarantee, especially when it is already delivering for patients.”
Mr Powell urged Minister Dick to reverse his decision and put patients first by ensuring the Wait Time Guarantee continued.
“These results speak for themselves, the Wait Time Guarantee is working, patients are receiving necessary surgery on time,” he said.
“The LNP dramatically reduced the number of patients waiting longer than medically recommended for their surgery and local families simply cannot afford to let Minister Dick take us back to the bad old days of the health system under Labor.”
Mr Powell called on the government to stop listening to union bosses and start listening to doctors and their patients.
“Doctors and patients want the Wait Time Guarantee to continue so it beggars belief how the Health Minister could even dream of cutting it – especially without an alternative,” he said.
“Labor has no plan for the economy and no plan for surgery. They are making it up on the run.
“When the LNP was elected into office, we inherited a health system on life support thanks to Labor’s appalling mismanagement.
“In three short years we turned that around and took Queensland’s health system from the bottom of the pack to the best in Australia.
Australia’s first elective surgery guarantee, modelled on the health systems of Scandinavia, started on 1 February this year.
Under this initiative if Hospitals and Health Services can’t provide treatment within the medically recommended time, patients are offered the next available appointment in a public or private hospital in the state at no cost to the patient.
[ENDS] 11 March 2015
A re-elected Newman LNP Government will deliver additional car parking at the Caboolture Hospital, Treasurer Tim Nicholls announced today.
Mr Nicholls said local LNP Members had been fighting hard for better car parking facilities at the hospital, with Member for Pumicestone Lisa France constantly raising it as a major issue in her electorate.
“Local MPs Lisa France, Andrew Powell, Darren Grimwade and Reg Gulley have all raised this as a concern for their local communities,” he said.
“We’ve listened to their concerns and we’re pledging to provide an additional 100 car parks at the site if re-elected.
“The only way we can make this happen is if we have a strong local LNP team fighting to deliver for the Caboolture region as part of a strong LNP government.”
Member for Pumicestone Lisa France said she was proud of the improvements made at Caboolture Hospital in the last three years.
“Because of our strong financial management, we’ve been able to invest in 122 extra clinical health staff and better services at the hospital,” she said.
“I’ve been getting positive feedback about the improvement in services provided at the hospital, but the lack of appropriate car parking remains an ongoing concern.
“There is existing space available on the hospital grounds to help with this problem, and today’s commitment will mean an extra 100 sealed car parks for residents to use.0
“It will mean that patients can spend less time looking for a car park and more time being treated by the wonderful staff at Caboolture Hospital”
Member for Morayfield Darren Grimwade said this was important news for the thousands of locals from his electorate who used Caboolture Hospital.
“This will make it easier to visit the hospital, so families can spend more time together and less time on the road,” Mr Grimwade said.
Member for Glass House Andrew Powell said he was delighted to be part of a strong government delivering what the Caboolture region needed.
“It shows what can happen when you have strong local members all pulling in the same direction for the benefit of their communities,” Mr Powell said.
[ENDS] 23 January 2015
Media contact: Andrew Powell’s office – 5435 2013
Frontline health services across the Sunshine Coast are set to be boosted with the Newman LNP Government today committing to an additional 184 doctors, nurses and health practitioners throughout the region as a part of its strong plan for health.
Premier Campbell Newman said the LNP was focused on continuing to rebuild frontline health services across the region and generating skilled jobs for the future.
Mr Newman said the additional health jobs and services came on top of a record investment in public healthcare across the Sunshine Coast with funding having increased by $136.5 million, or 24.4%, since the change of government just three years ago.
“We all want a healthier Queensland and we’ve been working hard over the past three years to reduce every single waiting list across the Sunshine Coast. But there is more to be done,” Mr Newman said.
“Because of our disciplined management of the state’s finances, the Newman LNP Government can create an estimated 184 additional frontline health jobs.
“We will also boost the delivery of public health services across the region over the next three years.”
Mr Newman said the frontline health jobs on the Sunshine Coast alone would include:
The additional 184 staff will cost $40.5 million over three years from 2015/16.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said while the Newman LNP Government had turned Queensland Health around over the past three years, there was still much more to be done.
“Under Labor, Queensland Health was plagued with waste and ballooning bureaucracy that prevented the recruitment and retention of frontline health workers,” he said.
“There were thousands of patients languishing on waiting lists, and the billion dollar health payroll debacle left local doctors and nurses underpaid, overpaid or not paid at all.
“We’ve stabilised the Queensland Health payroll, local doctors and nurses are getting their proper pay and we’ve overseen across the board pay increases for all our health workers in the region.
“Despite these great achievements, we know there is more to be done. Only the strong LNP team has a strong plan to take Queensland Health into the future.
“And only the LNP team has the strong economic plan to ensure we can do it.”
Click here to see more information on the Health Plan- Health Plan Sunshine Coast
The Newman LNP Government today announced that Glass House residents will soon receive a guarantee to have their elective (non-emergency) surgery on time, in a national first.
Member for Glass House Electorate, Andrew Powell, said from 1 February 2015, the LNP Government’s Wait Time Guarantee would ensure all eligible Queenslanders who are ready for elective surgery will have their procedure within the medically recommended time.
“If our local Hospital and Health Service [HHS] cannot provide surgery within this time, then patients will be offered the next available appointment in a public or private hospital at no cost,” Mr Powell said.
“This surgery will be arranged by the original hospital, and patients will not have to pay for any travel or accommodation costs if they are treated more than 50km from their original hospital.
“This is a fundamental change for local residents – as they will no longer be just a number in the queue for surgery.
“Under Labor nearly 1 in 5 Queensland patients – 17% – waited too long for their surgery.
“We expect to have this at 0% by the end of the year – and the LNP’s Guarantee will keep it at 0%.”
Mr Powell said in just over two and a half years, the LNP had transformed Queensland Health from being a Department even the Labor Party wanted to destroy, into a patient-focused service which is now offering an Australian first to Queensland residents.
“We promised to revitalise frontline health services for Queenslanders – and today’s announcement reiterates our determination to deliver on that commitment,” he said
“This is a strong team, with a strong plan to deliver the services we need.”
Mr Powell said from 1 February 2015, all eligible elective surgery will be carried out within the following nationally defined times:
• Urgent (category 1): Surgery recommended within 30 days of being added to the wait list, as the condition could get worse and become an emergency
• Semi-urgent (category 2): Surgery recommended within 90 days of being added to the wait list, as the condition is causing pain or disability but is unlikely to become an emergency
• Non-urgent (category 3): Surgery recommended within 365 days of being added to the wait list, as the condition is causing minimal pain or disability.
Mr Powell said patients who were currently on Queensland Health’s elective surgery wait list would soon receive a letter explaining how the guarantee works.
For more information about the Wait Time Guarantee visit www. qld.gov.au/WaitTimeGuarantee or call 1300 332 807 between 7am and 9pm, 7 days a week.
[ENDS] 24 November 2014
The wait for important eye surgery will soon be over for almost 2,800 patients of Metro North and Sunshine Coast combined Hospital Health Services with the LNP Government today announcing a $23.4 million blitz to bring them much-needed relief.
Andrew Powell, LNP Member for Glass House said the new statewide campaign to slash ophthalmology (eye surgery) long wait lists will improve the quality of life for patients who have been queuing for treatment for too long, with vision impairment or debilitating eye conditions.
“We are progressively revitalising the Queensland health system and the LNP Government is now focussing firmly on the unacceptably long wait for ophthalmology appointments to ensure Queenslanders have better access to vital eye care,” Mr Powell said.
“In September this year, there were more than 7900 people in Queensland waiting longer than clinically recommended for an initial ophthalmology appointment.
“Queensland Health has engaged ophthalmology service providers in a bid to clear this long wait list.
“We all know and appreciate how important good eye sight is to people’s health and well-being and the Government has a strong plan to ensure Queenslanders who have been waiting too long to see an ophthalmologist get that important treatment.”
Mr Powell said the contracts with service providers were developed off the back of the Queensland Government’s successful campaign to provide cochlear implants for people with hearing loss.
“The Government has accepted proposals from service providers which will mean every ophthalmic patient who had waited longer than clinically recommended will be seen and treated by 30 June, 2015,” Mr Powell said.
“Patients will be assessed for a range of vision impairments and debilitating eye conditions, such as cataracts, before receiving medical treatment or surgery if required.
The multi-million dollar eye surgery blitz follows the release of new long wait elective surgery figures showing a massive reduction of more than 90 per cent in the number of patients waiting longer than clinically recommended for their surgery.
Mr Powell said the services would be delivered in addition to ophthalmology services currently available and did not represent a cut to existing public hospital services. Health and Hospital Services around the state will retain current funding for the delivery of healthcare in line with their service agreement.
“In addition to this project, longer-term strategies are being developed to ensure Queenslanders have better access to ophthalmology services into the future,” Mr Powell said.
“It will allow patients to be treated as close to their place of residence as efficiently, effectively and safely as possible.”
Mr Powell said Health Minister, Lawrence Springborg would soon send letters out to eligible local ophthalmology patients to advise them of the good news.
[ENDS] 21 October 2014