Not “sufficient and sustainable” says Health Minister
28 October 2022
Katter’s Australian Party Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP, Nick Dametto will continue to lobby the State Labor Government to deliver much needed medical equipment in the form of a CT scanner to the Ingham Hospital.
During Question Time, the Hinchinbrook MP asked the Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Yvette D’Ath, if she would commit to delivering a CT scanner at the Ingham Hospital. In her response, the Minister disregarded the proposal and affirmed that the Townsville University Hospital remains the primary CT-imaging service available to Ingham. CT services are also available at a local medical practice in Ingham during normal business hours.
Mr Dametto said whilst Ingham is fortunate to have a local, privately-owned CT scanner, only a portion of patients requiring CT scans could utilise that facility.
“From January to December 2021, there were 392 requests for CT scans made to the local provider, but that figure doesn’t include patients that are transferred from Ingham Hospital to Townsville Hospital after hours. If after hours scan were taken into account, the total number of CT scans per year in Ingham could be closer to 600 or more.
“The community of Ingham shouldn’t be disadvantaged by having to either wait for a CT scan or suffer an uncomfortable ambulance ride to Townsville Hospital that takes longer than the time to complete a scan.
“We have an aging community here in our region and anyone with elderly family members would know just how much a visit or admission to the hospital can knock an elderly person around. That is only compounded when our elderly residents have to travel for hours in the back of an ambulance to Townsville.
“In addition to patient stress, the waste of resources is disgraceful. We are facing a severe health worker shortage and yet we see nurses and ambulance staff being tied up for hours every time a patient is transferred to Townsville”, said Mr. Dametto.
“We need our doctors and nurses, and every one of our ambulance staff on the ground doing their primary jobs, not transporting patients across the district simply to access what should be basic medical equipment”.
The Health Minister said Ingham Hospital needed to show a ‘sufficient and sustainable level of demand’ to justify the need for a CT scanner.
“I will continue to work with Ingham Hospital and the Community Advisory Network to advocate for this piece of important medical equipment. Our office is currently seeking a meeting with the Health Minister to discuss a way forward to secure funding for this important project”.