Saturday, 25 February 2012

Katter's party in $32m pledge for new hospital

Saturday, February 25, 2012
© The Cairns Post

Health plan: Katter's Australian Party Mulgrave candidate Damian Byrnes and leader Bob Katter announce their plans for a second hospital in Cairns.

Katter's Australian Party has pledged to build a $32 million second hospital at Edmonton by 2014 to ease pressure on Cairns Base Hospital.

Dr Damian Byrnes, the KAP candidate for Mulgrave and former member of the Cairns Health Community Council, said his party would pay for the 22-bed hospital by diverting money from the "makeover" at Cairns Base Hospital. "We would like to start this immediately once the election is over," he said.

The current construction of Block D at Cairns Base Hospital, which is expected to create 168 new beds, would continue as planned under the proposal, Dr Byrnes said. With the support of his party leader Bob Katter, Dr Byrnes said a new hospital in the south was urgently needed because cyclone Yasi showed Cairns Base Hospital was vulnerable to severe weather events. "A fully operational hospital at Edmonton is a non-negotiable item of critical infrastructure, especially as the Cairns Base Hospital is directly in-line for catastrophic cyclonic storm surges," Dr Byrnes said.

Dr Byrnes showed a copy of the 3000 signatures his party had collected in support of the second hospital for Cairns. Mr Katter said one hospital was not enough for Cairns because it took residents in his electorate 40 minutes to drive to Cairns Base Hospital.
"Cairns is a very narrow strip; you really do need two hospitals," Mr Katter said.
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  1. Good to see some forward thinking about the cyclone-vulnerability of the Cairns Base Hospital.

  2. Hi Ross.. wanted to add to the hospital post but annon.. last year I had to fly to Brisbane for a cystoscopy and then fly back down for laser surgery. Cairns does not have a laser surgeon or a specialist who does cystoscopy's. This test is vital for cancer patients and I believe that Cairns needs to have laser surgery available at the hospital. Both times I went to Brisbane, the Cairns Base paid for all my expenses. Plane fares (including special meals on the plane), taxi fares, accommodation (Brisbane were short on beds and I was released early) etc. The cost to the hospital to constantly do this for patients must be enormous. (totally wonderful btw was very impressed) Instead of sending our sick people away, I would like to see the money used for laser equipment and a specialist.


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