Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Health Minister Cameron Dick announced 3500 nurses would be recruited under a re-elected Labor Government.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Health Minister Cameron Dick announced 3500 nurses would be recruited under a re-elected Labor Government. Jacob Wilson

Palaszczuk announces nurse boost

QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk didn't come to the Whitsundays empty-handed yesterday, pledging an extra 80 nurses would be employed in the Mackay Hospital and Health Servicesk, if re-elected.

There would be an extra three midwives recruited and the Nurse navigator program will be expanded to 10.

Announced at Proserpine Hospital, the Palaszczuk Government promised their next term in office would see 3000 nurses, 100 midwives and the Nurse Navigator program expanded to 400 across Queensland, up from 240.

Reflecting on the chaos which ensued at the Proserpine Hospital in the wake of Cyclone Debbie, Premier Palaszczuk said the hospital staff showed strong resilience during that difficult time.

"The staff here went to extraordinary lengths during Tropical Cyclone Debbie and they performed at the highest possible standard anyone could ask,” she said.

"I've taken the opportunity to meet some of those nurses and doctors and thank them for the hard work they undertook - keeping this hospital functioning during such a horrific time for many local Proserpine residents.”

The Premier was joined by Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick who claimed the LNP couldn't be trusted with health.

"When we came to government we promised to restore and strengthen the front line of health care which had been thrashed and trashed under Tim Nicholls and the LNP,” he said.

"We have employed thousands of nurses, allied health professionals and technical staff across our health system to improve health care for Queenslanders.”

Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan said Labor needed to look in the mirror with respect to cuts across the Health department.

"No wonder we're getting more nurses and midwives at Proserpine Hospital. That's because more and more babies are being born there...thanks to the former Bligh Labor Government which axed maternity services at Bowen Hospital,” he said.

"If they want to talk about cuts, cuts and cuts let's talk about that.”

Lydia Kirk from Bowen delivered her baby by the side of the Bruce Hwy on Friday afternoon.
Lydia Kirk from Bowen delivered her baby by the side of the Bruce Hwy on Friday afternoon.

Mr Costigan's remark follows a Bowen mother Lydia Kirk's roadside labour on the Bruce Hwy earlier in October en route to Proserpine Hospital.

A Mackay Hospital and Health Service spokesperson said at the time it did not have the infrastructure, staff or skill mix to offer birthing at Bowen Hospital.

Further comment has been sought from Labor candidate for Whitsunday Bronwyn Taha.


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