Queensland Opposition Leader David Crisafulli has warned of a crisis in the state’s health system, lashing Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for perceived inaction during his appearance at a ‘town hall’ forum in Hervey Bay.
“Queensland Health is in crisis, and it’s been in crisis for a long time. Long before we’d even heard of coronavirus, Queensland Health was in crisis. This is about driving cultural change and nowhere is that more important than here in Hervey Bay,” said Crisafulli before the forum began.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has recently suggested that she may extend the duration of Queensland’s border closures until the federal government agrees to provide additional funding for hospitals in the state — a move that Prime Minister Scott Morrison described as extortion.
“Health, and the health system, rests squarely at the feet of the state government,” Crisafulli said, “and my question is… ‘What’s this mob been doing for the last seven years?’ Queensland Health needs to be fixed, and it will only be fixed if the government accepts responsibility. By all means, let’s work with Canberra and get every cent we’re entitled to, but let’s also face up to the fact that, long before coronavirus, Queensland Health was in crisis, and we have to drive cultural change — the kind of change that allows money to hit the frontline.”
Palaszczuk’s reluctance to open the state’s borders has caused doubt over when Queensland will return to full normality.
“We want to see the government step up to the mark,” Crisafulli said, adding that “uncertainty” and the “blame game” have “ramifications for business and the people they employ.”
The Opposition Leader called for a “pathway out of the pandemic,” arguing that Queenslanders need “certainty” and “hope” — and that “no one wins” when the “daily circus of fear” continues.
No new locally-acquired COVID-19 cases were reported in Queensland today. Yesterday, its vaccination hubs administered 22,351 vaccine doses.
The state’s current Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeanette Young, will be replaced by the newly-appointed Dr Krispin Hajkowicz on 1 November, allowing Dr Young to become Governor of Queensland.