Dametto keeps up pressure on hospital upgrades

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto has continued to lobby strongly for better services at Ingham Hospital.

HINCHINBROOK MP Nick Dametto has taken his fight for a dialysis unit and CT scanner at Ingham Hospital straight to Queensland’s top political leaders.

During high powered meetings with Health Minister Steven Miles and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk last week, Mr Dametto demanded better health services for Ingham Hospital, including a satellite dialysis machine and a CT scanner. He then followed that up with a direct question on the same topic to State Treasurer Cameron Dick during the Economics and Governance Committee’s inquiry into the government’s COVID-19 Fiscal and Economic Review.

“I felt the meetings with both the Premier and Health Minister were productive, and I have been advised that the Townsville Hospital and Health Service are now undergoing a detailed design process and final costings for the planned upgrades to Ingham Hospital,” Mr Dametto said.

“I made it clear to both the Premier and Minister Miles that these upgrades should be advanced as quickly as possible, given the growing need for dialysis treatment and a CT scanner in the Herbert River District.”

During last Friday’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”.

“We’ve certainly made a strong commitment as a government to do that,” he said.

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

During a Question Without Notice in parliament in July, Mr Dametto asked Health Minister Steven Miles whether he would commit to funding renal services, a CT scanner and emergency department upgrade at Ingham Hospital.

The Minister said it was likely funding for a satellite renal dialysis service could be sourced from $20 million in North Queensland renal funding previously announced.

“No-one on dialysis should have to suffer a long and painful journey to Townsville Hospital and back to receive life-saving treatment. In the critical minutes after a patient presents with stroke-like symptoms, every second counts. Access to a CT scanner at Ingham Hospital would dramatically cut the time required for a diagnosis where life-saving anticoagulant drugs can be administered to reduce the effects of a stroke and greatly reduce rehabilitation times,” Mr Dametto said.

“Once again, the government has been slow to act on this issue. Ingham Hospital has waited long enough for these life-saving upgrades. My promise is to work on this right up until the last minute before the government goes into caretaker mode on October 6 and apply pressure to whoever is in government after the election to finally deliver the minimum health standards we demand in the Hinchinbrook electorate.

“If we lived in the south-east corner, this wouldn’t even be an issue.”

Nick Dametto MP