Labor overlooks Ingham in health funding windfall

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

VITAL upgrades to Ingham Hospital have been left out of a major funding announcement by the State Labor Government after they announced $25 million for Townsville Hospital.

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said he was “extremely disappointed” the government had overlooked Ingham in announcing $17 million to build a “hybrid theatre” at Townsville Hospital, $4 million to upgrade the Persistent Pain Management Service and $4 million to expand the outpatient department.

“I’m not one to begrudge funding for health services elsewhere, but all we’re asking for in Ingham is what every regional hospital should have – a CT scanner and a renal unit,” he said.

“These should be essential services and would be life-changing for residents in the Herbert River District. We’re not asking for much, just what should be considered modern-day basic health services.”

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.

Final costings and a detail design process are now being undertaken for the proposed upgrades at Ingham.

“The funding we’re asking for is a drop in the ocean compared to any hospital outside the regions and this would vastly improve the quality of life for local residents and those wishing to stay in the local area without needing to move south to access standard health services,” Mr Dametto said.

“No-one on dialysis should have to suffer a long and painful journey to Townsville Hospital and back to receive life-saving treatment. Likewise, 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.

“On behalf of our community, I’ve fought tirelessly for these services over the last three years and I will continue to do so no matter what shape the government takes after the coming State election.”

Nick Dametto MP