Whatever the right answer, what we’re now being told appears to add to the confusion as to whether the facilities can rightfully be called “hospitals” in the accepted understanding of the word.
Earlier this month Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced sites had been secured for new satellite hospitals in Caboolture, Pine Rivers, Redlands, and the Gold Coast, in addition to the preferred site already flagged for a Bribie Island satellite hospital.
“The four parcels of land were ideal locations for the health hubs,” she said.
Health hubs? Where did that come from? Premier, in case you hadn’t noticed, health hubs are greatly different to satellite hospitals, and whatever you choose to call them, as Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates points out, “These aren’t satellite hospitals, they’re health centres. A hospital has a theatre, emergency department and overnight beds.
“This is a desperate attempt by Labor as they lose control of our hospitals, and the location for Caboolture is just five streets away from the Caboolture Hospital and will be nothing more than a community day clinic. That’s if it is ever built.”
Much the same can be said regarding the location and facilities proposed for the Bribie Satellite Hospital/Health Hub/Centre/Day Clinic.
“There will not be one new overnight bed at these satellite hospitals,” Ms Bates said.
“Labor has lied to the people of Queensland.”
But, as Health Minister Yvette Dath has said, “A business case for the whole Satellite Hospital Program is being prepared to identify which services will be offered at each location.
“A range of services are being considered for these satellite hospitals, including community health services, ambulatory and low acuity day therapy services such as renal dialysis, chemotherapy, complex wound management, urgent care for minor injury and illness, and outpatient activities.”
The Premier and Minister for Health and Ambulance Services said construction is expected to take around 12 months following completion of the business case and acquisition of land.
So, only time will tell what they’ll finally be called, what they may deliver and when.