The maiden speech by the Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd has been used by the MP to direct attention towards the deteriorating condition of medical facilities in Central Queensland. While addressing the Federal Parliament in his speech, Mr. O’Dowd blamed the centralist policy of the Labor Government for providing people in Central Queensland with pathetic medical care.
While talking about the condition in hospitals, he stated that the Gladstone Hospital did not happen to have sufficient staff, which could even tend to a pregnant woman. He added that pregnant women coming to Gladstone for treatment were being directed towards Rockhampton, whereas many women had to go to the extent of leaving the city for delivering a baby.
According to Mr. O’Dowd, the best solution for the current situation was to bring back these hospitals to full operational levels. He added that the hospitals should be offering a wide range of specialist services, especially as there was a need of such services, as the number of people coming in for services had to go out of town to receive medical attention.
He further remarked that people, who had to undergo dialysis in Gladstone, had to travel over 100 kilometers, around thrice a week. Apart from that there were 600 births in Emerald, however more than 300 of those births had to be carried out in Rockhampton or other far off places, as the facility in Emerald could only handle low risk cases.