I would like to reassure you that Mackay Hospital and Health Service is committed to establishing a sustainable medical model to support hospital patients and aged care residents in Clermont.
However, this cannot be at any cost.
We must make judicious use of public money and could not agree to the proposal by Clermont4Doctors for three doctors and a nurse practitioner at Clermont MPHS.
The proposal put to the health service was for one full-time doctor, two doctors working .8 of a full-time position and a nurse practitioner.
Clermont MPHS has an average of 10 emergency department presentations a day, the majority of which are the least urgent Category 4 and 5 patients.
The hospital has an average of one to two inpatients a day.
We cannot justify paying three doctors and one nurse practitioner for so few patients.
Additional requests to be paid 25% above what other doctors in similar roles receive, less on-call than other rural doctors and additional annual leave made this proposal unsuitable.
We cannot in good conscience spent more than $1.5 million on this proposal at the expense of our other rural hospitals that have triple the activity of Clermont with fewer clinicians.
The health service still believes the best solution will be a generalist medical model that not only supports Clermont, but the whole of the Isaac region and our hospitals in Dysart and Moranbah.
We are prepared to have a nurse practitioner and three doctors in Clermont on the proviso the full-time doctor also worked on expanding the model for the whole of Isaac.
We also were prepared to offer the other two doctors a .5 position so they could work the other half at the GP surgery.
Mackay HHS will continue to use locum doctors to care for emergency department presentations, hospital patients and aged care residents while we work on a solution for the whole of Isaac.
The solution also has to include the Commonwealth government which has responsibility for primary care (GPs).