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Powell Media Release – Coast MPs support new public hospital (6 December 2013)

The Newman Government’s Coast MPs have today welcomed the State’s announcement that clinical services are to remain in-house at the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital (SCPUH).

It comes after Health Minister Lawrence Springborg today confirmed Queensland Health staff and the local Hospital and Health Board will provide clinical services at the new $2 billion SCPUH.

Sunshine Coast MPs Mark McArdle, Andrew Powell, Steve Dickson, Fiona Simpson and Glen Elmes said the decision and project was a massive win for residents and the local economy.

“I have personally seen the professional and skilled services carried out by staff at the Caloundra Hospital, and I am pleased to see this continue through to the new public hospital which will greatly benefit residents, particularly the ageing population, in Caloundra,” Mr McArdle said.

“The people of the Sunshine Coast and hinterland have spoken very loudly surrounding the new hospital and the Newman Government has listened, this public project will be of great service to the community,” Mr Powell said.

“The new public hospital will be a major boost to our local economy and this confirmation will be welcome news not only to residents in the Buderim electorate, but the wider business community,” Mr Dickson said.

“I welcome the Health Minister’s announcement today that our new public hospital will not be outsourcing its clinical services to the private sector.  These will be delivered by Queensland Health staff and I believe this is the best outcome for good patient care and for integration with training with the Sunshine Coast University,” Ms Simpson said.

“I have always been a strong advocate of quality health care for the residents of Noosa and the Sunshine Coast and this project will certainly deliver that,” Mr Elmes said.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the decision reflected the Newman Government’s commitment to the best in front-line health services, based on value-for-money principles. He said robust analysis determined that private sector offers to run SCPUH were unable, at this time, to match the capacity of the public sector.

“This means free public health care and clinical services at SCPUH will be provided through in-house doctors, nurses and allied health professionals,” Mr Springborg said.

“It means the seamless administration of all public health services free to Sunshine Coast residents at facilities from Gympie to Caloundra.

“This demonstrates the new strength of Queensland Health and the importance of local hospital boards, the redesign of clinical systems and progress toward award simplification and the implementation of contracts for senior doctors.”

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Board Chair Professor Paul Thomas AM welcomed the decision, stating the Board was determined that evidence should identify the best service-delivery options.

He said SCPUH would open in 2016, providing the best tertiary treatment facilities with a clinical staff of about 2500. Total staff numbers at SCPUH would increase from 3500 to more than 5000 by 2021.

“The Government’s decision means the focus will now switch to specifically market testing clinical support services at SCPUH including pathology, radiology and pharmacy,” Professor Thomas said.

“The staff of the Hospital and Health Service will be fully informed of our progress.”

Mr Springborg said expressions of interest for the outsourcing of clinical support services will be followed by a comprehensive evaluation of responses.

Work will also begin immediately to engage appropriate non-government cleaning, catering, and associated service providers at SCPUH after a value-for-money assessment deemed these the best value providers.

[ENDS] 6 December 2013

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