Dametto forces Labor to make dialysis commitment

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto has challenged the LNP to match Labor’s announcement of a renal dialysis treatment space for Ingham Hospital.

HINCHINBROOK MP Nick Dametto has forced the hand of State Labor to commit funds for a renal dialysis treatment space at Ingham Hospital, if they are elected to government.

Mr Dametto is now challenging the LNP to match the funding commitment before the State election.

“While it is disappointing it took Labor until campaign mode to announce such a life-changing service for the Herbert River District, they have missed two vital components in their commitment – a CT scanner and emergency department upgrades for Ingham Hospital,” he said.

“It’s great to see the government finally come on board. Now let’s see if the LNP has the maturity to match this.”

The $27.8 million announcement, made by Health Minister Steven Miles today, covers 33 renal dialysis treatment spaces to be built and opened at Proserpine, Clermont, Charters Towers, Ingham and Longreach hospitals, and facilities in Cooktown and Kowanyama.

Townsville Hospital and Health Service’s “COVID-19 Recovery – Proposed Infrastructure Program” estimates Ingham Hospital will need $5.2 million for renal services, $3.6 million for a CT scanner and $1.1 million for an upgraded emergency department, plus an additional 15 per cent contingency funding for each project to account for post-COVID market conditions.

THHS’s Economic impact Assessment for construction of projects estimates an output of $16 million generated (gross value of goods and services transacted) and the creation of 49 direct and indirect jobs through flow-on activity.

The government’s announcement follows several meetings between Mr Dametto and Minister Miles to advocate for funding for a renal unit, CT scanner and emergency department upgrades.

During last month’s Economics and Governance Committee inquiry into the government’s COVID-19 Fiscal and Economic Review, Mr Dametto asked Treasurer Cameron Dick whether Queensland Treasury had put aside funding for Townsville Hospital and Health Service’s COVID Recovery Plan, which will require funding for dialysis at a CT scanner in rural hospitals like Ingham and Charters Towers.

Mr Dick replied that while he couldn’t advise on the specific projects Mr Dametto had raised, “where it’s sustainable, it’s important to increase health services including dialysis and other activities to regional communities”.

“Expanding services where we can is something we’ll continue to do,” he said.

Mr Dametto called on Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates “to demonstrate the LNP cares about the health needs of the people of Hinchinbrook”.

“As I’ve said before, providing adequate health services should be bipartisan and above politics,” Mr Dametto said.

Nick Dametto MP