10 September, 2021

Renal unit sits empty at Morayfield

A fully equipped and functioning renal dialysis unit at Morayfield is ready to go, if Caboolture Hospital will refer patients.

The Renal Care unit at the Health Hub Doctors Morayfield
The Renal Care unit at the Health Hub Doctors Morayfield

Despite including a 17-patient renal dialysis unit as part of the Health Hub Doctors Morayfield facility, Dr Evan Jones, the practice director, said Caboolture Hospital was only referring patients at ‘a trickle’, sending patients to Brisbane instead.

“This was built as part of an agreement with Queensland Health, and all patient care is bulk-billed to the Federal Government, but we have barely a handful of patients,” Dr Jones said.

“We even have a leading doctor from Metro North Hospital and Health Service (MNHHS) working with us, overseeing our renal patients.”

Dr Jones said the core of the problem was Queensland Health’s belief it should do everything, despite clinical evidence that patient-centred care delivered much better outcomes, not just for the patient, but also in economic terms.

“The MNHHS budget is almost $2billion per year, it is one of the largest in Australia, they don’t need more money, they need better leadership.”

In a 2020 statement supporting the need for ‘satellite hospitals’, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said there was no renal dialysis care north of North Lakes, despite the Health Hub Morayfield already being open for two years at the time.

“For some services Bribie locals have to travel even further, with the closest renal dialysis services being provided at North Lakes, 40km away,” Ms Palaszczuk said in the statement.

Dr Jones said this was another example of ‘advice being ignored by ranking bureaucrats’ who did not believe any organisation other than Queensland Health could provide patient care.

“In the meantime, we have a renal dialysis unit that can treat patients, sitting idle, and patients are travelling to Brisbane for treatment that can be provided locally, at no cost to the patient.”

The Sentinel News contacted the office of Health Minister Yvette D’Ath for comment, however no response has been received as yet.


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