Health practitioners to strike

Queensland Health workers at an earlier rally in Gympie
Queensland Health workers at an earlier rally in Gympie Renee Pilcher

HEALTH practitioners in every QHealth facility in Queensland will  stage a 24-hour strike tomorrow in what they say is a fight for the future of Queenslanders’ health services.

Health practitioners have given formal notice of their intention to conduct a 24-hour strike across Queensland Health’s services.

A range of Queensland Health services will be affected statewide and skeleton staff will be available to assist with only emergency cases.

It is the largest strike of its kind at Queensland Health in many years.

“The future of Queenslanders’ health services rests in the government’s hands. It’s with great sadness and heavy hearts that HPs strike this Wednesday, however they are left with no other option three months after their last agreement expired with no action from QHealth around these vital issues,” QPSU General Secretary Alex Scott said today.

“Health practitioners are fiercely dedicated to Queenslanders’ health services. Every day health practitioners are providing vital care for Queenslanders with serious injuries and illnesses, people in rehabilitation, children and grandparents who need support and unfortunately we have no choice, we must now stand and fight for better workloads and fair wages for Health workers.

“Health practitioners would rather be conducting the vital blood tests, scans, hearing exams and other services that provide practical assistance for Queenslanders, including those with hearing problems, those who are injured and those who are fighting their own health battles against serious illnesses,” Mr Scott said.

“Unfortunately the government has failed to understand the extent of the health services risk after several months of talks, during which we have continued to be reasonable. Members have tried every other option to move Queensland Health.

“We are determined to stand up and fight for Queenslanders’ health services.”

LHMU Queensland President Nev Swan said health professionals were being penalised for the mistakes of Queensland Health.

“With the recent announcement of a $210 million price tag to fix the beleaguered payroll system, my members can’t help feeling they’re being asked to make financial sacrifices to amend for the mistakes of others,” Mr Swan said.

“Being asked to accept an inferior pay offer and not have essential workload and service issues dealt with is an insult to health professionals, many of whom had to suffer through months of being paid incorrectly or not at all this year.

“Unless QH prioritises its staff more highly -- and pays them what they’re worth -- we can expect to see even more of our valuable HPs leaving to work in the private sector or interstate.”

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