15 September, 2021
Health Hub challenges hospital plan
Queensland Health’s announcement of a new satellite hospital in Caboolture attracted strong criticism from Dr Evan Jones, practice manager of the Health Hub Doctors Morayfield.
Dr Jones said the decision to build the satellite hospital was ‘symptomatic’ of the mismanagement of the Metro North Hospital Health Service (MNHHS).
“There is a toxic culture in the Health and Hospital Service, this will lead to greater fragmentation of services and poorer patient care,” Dr Jones said.
“This will exacerbate the problem, we run an evidence-based model of care, the current hospital system leads to poor patient outcomes.”
Dr Jones said the MNHHS had an operating budget of $2 billion, but the problem was one of culture, rather than funding.
“They don’t need more money, they need better leadership.”
Currently, the privately-owned Health Hub Doctors Morayfield has 140,000 patients on its books, with 85 doctors and 130 nurses on staff, and sees an average of 10,000 patients per week.
“We run an Urgent Care clinic that treats between 250 and 300 patients per day, we also have a Commonwealth funded Respiratory Clinic that sees between 150 and 500 patients per day.”
The Respiratory Clinic is designed to treat patients who present at the Health Hub with ‘flu-like’ symptoms, who would otherwise be prevented or restricted in seeing a GP.
“This was designed from the outset to be a pandemic clinic, it has a separate airconditioning system with positive pressurisation, to prevent any transfer of air with the rest of the building.
“It was actually designed and built five years ago, and when it was not in use, we were using it as a ‘Mums and Bubs’ clinic, complete with its own entry separate from the main clinic, we were then able to convert it to its original purpose with the turn of a key.”
The Urgent Care facility is designed to treat urgent, non-life threatening illnesses and injuries, Dr Jones said, and sees 250 patients per day.
“Imagine if we were to close that facility, and send an extra 250 patients per day to the Caboolture Hospital Emergency Department?
“At the moment, we are losing $200,000 per month operating that facility, I said I could not afford to keep losing that much money each month, and would be closing the department, Queensland Health asked us not to, and they have been funding us the $200,000 each month, but they will not give us a long term contract.”
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath’s office was contacted for comment, however they have not yet responded.