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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Deputy Premier and Minister for Health
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Lucas Launches ‘Health Listening Tour’

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Health
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Sunday, March 29, 2009

    Lucas Launches ‘Health Listening Tour’

    Deputy Premier and new Health Minister Paul Lucas today kicked off a health listening tour across Queensland.

    Visiting Redland Hospital, Mr Lucas said his listening tour would allow him to meet frontline staff where they worked and see first-hand the challenges facing the health network.

    “Queensland has the most comprehensive free health system covering the largest decentralised area in the world,” Mr Lucas said.

    “We’ve got more than 150 hospitals and other facilities, and 60,000 staff working to improve the health of Queenslanders. But we’ve heard loud and clear the message that we need to do more – and that’s why I’m here.

    “I’ve always been a hands-on minister – talking directly to the experts, understanding what they’re doing and seeing things with my own eyes.”

    Mr Lucas will this week visit hospitals in Cairns, Townsville and South East Queensland.

    By Easter he will also visit hospitals in Central Queensland and the Far North, including the Torres Strait Islands, as well as many major hospitals in South East Queensland.

    “I expect to be running up a lot of kilometres in the government jet,” Mr Lucas said.

    “But health impacts on many aspects of people’s lives and I’m determined to see what’s happening on the frontline and how we can improve the services Queensland Health delivers.”

    Mr Lucas’ ‘Health Listening Tour’ will include:

    • visits to all 15 health districts across Queensland;

    • observing a hospital emergency department in action during a peak period;

    • meetings with frontline staff including doctors, nurses and other health professionals;

    • meetings with peak health bodies including the Australian Medical Association, the Queensland Nurses Union and our Health Consumer Councils;

    • meetings with patient advocate groups; and

    • visits to leading training and research facilities.

    “I want to see every part of our health system at work – from the kitchens, to the wards, to our emergency departments and doctors out there delivering services in the community.”

    “Our $8.35 billion health budget is the fastest growing in the country and our $6 billion health infrastructure program is the biggest in Australia. But Queenslanders have sent us a strong message that we need a system that works better.

    “We’re halfway through the biggest one-off investment in Queensland’s health system ever made and we’re ready to take more action. The first step is meeting with expert doctors and nurses working on the frontline and talking to other stakeholders.”

    Media inquiries: Robert Hoge 0419 757 868