Thursday, 1 December 2016
Longman Electorate: Morayfield Health Hub
Today, I rise to speak about an exciting new facility under construction in my electorate, the Morayfield Health Hub. This health hub concept is the brainchild of Health Development Corporation. This corporation is a healthcare solutions business run by clinicians and health professionals with a desire to match health infrastructure to the needs of my local community. It is the culmination of the corporation's extensive experience in the healthcare sector. The health hub model, as it is being successfully delivered in two other Queensland locations, focuses on three key areas of development: clinical excellence, healthcare systems and education, training and research. This health hub presents a unique opportunity to truly connect and integrate health services across primary, secondary and acute settings. The model is patient-centred and aims to provide a very seamless experience between multiple service providers. The model also aims, though, to achieve better health outcomes for patients through collaboration and integration of services.
The Morayfield Health Hub project is spearheaded by Health Development Corporation's director and our local doctor Dr Evan Jones. I have met with Dr Jones on numerous occasions and I am really impressed with his passion for finding practical healthcare solutions that will improve the lives of people in Longman. The hub is due for completion in October 2017. The facility will deliver all clinical health services up to the point where the patient needs an overnight stay in a hospital bed. This includes things like general practice; radiology and pathology labs; primary and specialist ambulatory services; acute care and day procedure units; integrated, allied and oral health services; preventative health, diagnostic and medical support services and, of course, our community health services. The benefits of the Morayfield Health Hub are many but, first and foremost, it provides health services that are so desperately needed in my region. It provides healthcare users with a local and convenient facility that will serve a whole range of their health needs. It means that people in my community, in my electorate, who are elderly or sick will not have to travel great distances between facilities to see health providers and other health professionals, or to undergo a variety of different medical procedures. The health hub will also take some pressure off our public health system. The Caboolture hospital, which is just a couple of kilometres down the road, is currently operating at close to double capacity. The number of GPs servicing our local area is less than half the national average. So there is a real need for more health providers in the region and the Morayfield Health Hub will help service that need.
Along with the obvious health benefits of the Morayfield Health Hub, there are other benefits to our community. First among these is the creation of local jobs. There are opportunities for locals to be employed in the construction of the facility and that is being undertaken from the nearby Sunshine Coast—and member for Fairfax was just in this place speaking about his electorate. Locals will have employment opportunities in the day-to-day running of the facility. Many health professionals and admin staff will be required to deliver those health services to patients and workers such as cleaners to maintain the facility and staff for the coffee shops and retail businesses within the facility will also be required. There will also be that positive flow of patronage to local businesses around and near the hub. It is undeniable that the Morayfield Health Hub is a really worthwhile project for the communities of Morayfield and Caboolture and beyond. However, adequate investment in our health-care system like this will inevitably fail to prosper if this hub is not constructed in the first place. If we do not maintain the universality of Medicare, the business model for this type of venture will simply not stack up. Entrepreneurs like Dr Evan Jones would be forced to make a decision not to build this facility, the Morayfield health hub, at all. Where will the many thousands of local people that would utilise the Morayfield health hub go? I will tell you where they will go: they will end up back at the already strained services of the Caboolture Hospital or maybe the undersupplied local general practice facilities.
So I give my commitment to the people of my electorate of Longman and to Dr Evan Jones and others like him that I will fight to ensure that we maintain the universality of our health-care system, I will fight so the system is always adequately funded, and I will always fight to protect Medicare.