Radiology private partnership proves a win for Central Queensland Radiology

THE issue of public/private partnerships in Queensland's hospitals is an ongoing debate between the varying sides of politics, but in Central Queensland the "jury" has delivered its verdict.
Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service entered into a partnership with CQ Radiology in 2014 and say the move has been an overwhelming success.

During a tour of Rockhampton Hospital on Monday with federal Shadow Health Minister Catherine King, ALP candidate for Capricornia Leisa Neaton said private partnerships should form part of the solution to get best quality outcomes for patients.

Keppel MP Brittany Lauga differed, saying she had never supported the privatisation of those services.

"Privatisation of radiology services in CQHHS was a grave concern to Rockhampton Hospital staff, unions and myself… we're yet to see how that business model has played out," Mrs Lauga said.

"Whether it's worked or not is a question not for me, but for the CQHHS."

CQHHS chief executive Len Richards said privatisation had allowed increased access to services and a much quicker turnaround of medical imaging results.

"On average now, 83% of our images are reported on within 24 hours, up from 56% before the partnership began," Mr Richards said.

"We are now the best in the state for reporting images by a specialist, with a rate of 98.2%."

With state-of-the-art CT machines now in Gladstone, Emerald and Yeppoon, fewer patients need to come to Rockhampton for their medical imaging.
For the first time, nuclear medicine is now being offered on-site in Rockhampton Hospital.

"We have increased access to specialists and better education and training for other medical staff," Mr Richards said.
"These benefits all make a big difference to patient care.

"But more than that, it helps enormously when it comes to recruiting medical staff."