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  1. 1

    Raymond Bange

    One of the concerning features about much of the delivery of health care through public entities is encapsulated in Amanda’s comment that:

    “Health practitioners who have lost their jobs are prevented from speaking out as a condition of severance. Those currently competing for the important remaining statewide roles (less than 4% of the previous number of clinical preventative positions) are understandably keen not to draw any attention to themselves. Colleagues still working within Queensland Health are bound by protocols to remain silent.”

    Health care (like other services) demands adequate transparency to foster best practice, ensure accountable decisions and minimise the opportunities for fraud and corruption. Those issues permeate all organisations from the top down.

    It is at times of unwarranted secrecy that we must rely on the professional organisations and the individuals who are independent participants in the process to speak out and inform us and our political representatives who are, after all, placed in positions of trust to make decisions on our behalf for the time being.

  2. 2

    Mike Moore

    The loss of 50 jobs in Preventative Health in Cairns could have major impacts on some Indigenous communities where syphilis outbreaks can cause many other serious health issues, including for pregnant mothers.

    Cairns MP and LNP newcomer Gavin King has only talked about 400 jobs with the Dept of Environment and 20 odd jobs in Tourism. This deception needs exposing. Why he forgot to mention the 50 dedicated preventative health care specialists from the Cairns Public Health Unit, who were all axed from their positions last week, is extraordinary. The staff cuts in this vital public health unit has failed to rate a mention in King’s radio interviews.

    The Federal Government’s Initiative of ‘Closing the Gap’ in Indigenous health will remain unachievable in Queensland if only front line health service provision is relied upon.

    In fact, not one media outlet has published this information. Maybe it is because Unions only protect those that are most vocal like the Nurses Union, a very large and powerful group of health workers, and the Union stance is to protect those that are front line. Many people work behind the scenes to make the nurses able to function efficiently and do their jobs.

    Others such as those in Public Health, work to keep people out of hospital, and to stop the spread of infectious diseases.

    When 50 health professionals from the Cairns Public Health Unit were told by the new Liberal National Party State Government that their services were no longer required, given just two weeks, to finish up, local State MP Gavin King, along with other media, failed to mention the decimation of these healthcare workers. King deliberately ignored this fact when he spoke to Fiona Sewell on ABC radio. He mentioned the 20 jobs axed from Department of Tourism, but all from Corporate Office in Brisbane. He mentioned the 400 jobs from the Department of Environment, but only 2 local jobs.

    The majority of these positions are made up of nurses, doctors and other specialised health care workers who all have a mandatory tertiary qualifications in health, and many have a Masters of Public Health as well. These officers are each specialised in their own fields and have spent many years in their chosen career in public health.

    The Cairns Public Health Unit services a population of over 250,000 people.

    These specialised and dedicated team of professionals work to keep the general public informed of health risks like smoking, unsafe sex, handling bats etc), to stop the spread of infectious diseases (Hendra virus Dengue fever, tuberculosis, influenza, salmonella food poisoning etc), to maintain clean and safe drinking water (checking of water supplies for E coli or other contaminants), and many other activities that protect the population they serve. Much of their work involves in trying to improve conditions in Indigenous communities. After all, North Queensland has nearly half of the Queensland’s Indigenous population living here.

    One such specialist, celebrated her 20 years with Queensland Health last Wednesday, only to discover two days later, that she no longer had a job. This person is known internationally for her work on improving Indigenous nutrition in Papua New Guinea and Far North Queensland. It beggars belief that this well-renown health professional has been put out on the scrap heap along with her colleagues.

    Another dedicated specialist in sexual health has been overseeing a syphilis outbreak in a remote Indigenous community. Much of this work involves contact tracing and ensuring patients receive the appropriate treatment. Sexual health officers from Cairns have had to go to this community to help test and treat patients in order to eradicate this infection. Cases of the disease are still being reported.

    It seems that those that are left in Corporate Office in Brisbane, think that Thursday Island is off the coast of Cardwell.

    Queensland has taken a step back 20 years and will never achieve Closing the Gap in Indigenous health in Queensland, without the preventative work going on behind the front line services.

  3. 3

    Duggy the DC3

    Thankyou and I’m sorry too


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