State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today questioned why the State Government spent $80,000 of tax-payer funds to purchase and fit out a 2006 Ford F350 vehicle to transport patients between the Public and Private Hospitals at Kawana and not use the taxpayer funded QAS.
It comes as Mr McArdle, during Estimates hearings, questioned Queensland Health about the details of the vehicle that is used to transport patients.
“I asked how patients are moved between the public and private hospitals at Kawana.” Mr McArdle said.
“The answer was that QAS is used where the patient ‘--- requires the support of a paramedic or any other clinical support.’ But ‘If they are less complex we have an internal transport vehicle’, I was told.” Mr McArdle said.
“In relation to the transport vehicle that transports patients from the Sunshine Coast University Hospital to the Sunshine Coast Private Hospital, I am advised that the Vehicle concerned is a 2006 make, that the vehicle coast was $30,000 and that the fit-out cost was $50,000, so a total of $80,000 for that transport vehicle.” Health Minister Cameron Dick confirmed.
“The exorbitant cost of purchasing and fitting out a non-QAS vehicle speaks volumes of the State Government’s ongoing poor planning and money wasting in the region’s health services.” Mr McArdle said
“The public have paid $80,000 for a vehicle to transport people between the hospitals, the distance between which can be measured in metres, at a time when the public already pay taxes to fund the QAS.” Mr McArdle said.
“We have QAS vehicles available here that the public have paid for and instead we are using a supped-up ‘Ghostbusters’ vehicle instead.”
“When questioned what that vehicle was it was revealed by Queensland Health as ‘a second-hand vehicle’ and that the make was 2006.” Mr McArdle confirmed.
“A total cost of $80,000.00 for a vehicle that moves patients a distance of metres – what about the QAS Patient Transport Vehicles that run around the Coast for which taxpayers have already paid out. Patient Transport Vehicles do exactly the same job – and they are already paid for.”
“Why do we need to purchase and fitout a vehicle at a cost of $80,000 to move patients between hospitals – isn’t that the role of QAS? Isn’t that why we pay taxes.” Mr McArdle said.
“What would $80,000 purchase by way of medical services or equipment for Coast residents?”
“Perhaps a more important question should be, are our QAS vehicles too busy being ramped to be used for their intended purpose?” Mr McArdle concluded.