By Briony Skinner, Alicia Ng
The Australian Medical Association says the Queensland government’s record health spending is not going where it is needed.
Despite $42-billion being spent in the health portfolio over the past seven years, the problems have not been solved and there are better ways the money could be spent, according to AMA Queensland President Gino Pecoraro.
“We want the money to be spent in the best possible way and that means on front line resources, making sure we’ve got staff to look after patients and beds to put them in,” he said.
Money still has not been used to increase the amount of beds in hospitals, according to the AMA.
A patient at the Gold Coast Hospital was recently forced to lie across chairs with a drip in his arm due to the lack of available bedding.
Opposition health spokesman Mark McArdle said the amount will not be enough hospital bedding is a major concern which will only be increased with the opening in 2014 of the new Queensland Children’s Hospital.
The Queensland Children’s Hospital will only provide an additional 71 overnight beds, Mr McArdle said.
“The growth in the number of children in this state will outstrip that hospital almost before it opens,” he said.
“We need to contemplate other solutions to deal with this matter.
“I’m very concerned that the new hospital will simply not be enough.”
Mr McArdle said the problem is a perfect example of the government’s poor planning for the future and said the money could have been used better.
A Queensland Health spokesman denied Mr McArdle’s claims.
“Queensland Health is investing $100-million into expanding and enchancing children’s health services at six hospital across the greater Brisbane metropolitan between now and 2014 when the new Queensland Children’s Hospital opens,” the spokesman said.
The staff and services of Royal Children’s Hospital and the Mater Children’s Hospital are merging to form the new hospital, the spokesperson said.