Hang up political colours for the sake of our city: Redland City Mayor

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has challenged all local State and Federal Members to put aside their political argy bargy and work together to improve health services for Redlanders.

In a passionate letter to State MPs Mark Robinson, Kim Richards and Don Brown and Federal Member for Bowman Andrew Laming; Cr Williams implored them to work together for the sake of Redlanders.

The request follows a recent spate of social media back and forth over hospital funding where respective MPs blamed the other level or political party for the lack of specialist medical services at the Redland Hospital.

“People are tired of politicking and finger-pointing, they just want improved health services and I call for a unified approach to making this happen,” Cr Williams said.

“The health and medical care available to residents should not depend on the colour of the government of the day, or that of the Federal or State representative where the hospital is built.”

Mayor Williams penned the letter after reading an open letter from Redland Hospital Emergency physician Michael Cameron in which he warns residents about the state of the Redland Hospital, saying it had not kept up with demand.

Dr Cameron’s letter warns of bed shortages, a lack of specialist medical services and long waits for emergency department beds.

“Dr Cameron’s comments echo those of residents and staff who tell me they are concerned about the state of our local hospitals,” Cr Williams said.

“They also tell me they are concerned about the current social media arguments and media stunts that achieve nothing other than driving a wedge between the State and Federal elected representatives, making a possible jointly funded upgrade to the hospital less likely.”

Cr Williams met with State Health Minister Dr Steven Miles last month to discuss the concerns surrounding the Redland Hospital and has also written to Federal Minister Greg Hunt seeking an urgent meeting when she is in Canberra next week.

“We need politicians to focus more on fighting for funding instead of fighting with each other,” Cr Williams said.

“The health of our residents is not helped by social media likes or headlines, it is helped by constructive, bipartisan commitment across different levels of government and I am calling for all local MPs to hang up their political colours for the good of the city.

“Council has joined Metro South and Mater to fund a Master Plan of the Redlands Hospital, which is currently being finalised and is expected to come to Council for consideration shortly.

“I hope the endorsed Master Plan will provide the opportunity for a unified approach to better health services for the Redlands Coast.

“The finalisation of this Master Plan also provides an opportunity for all elected members to sit down and discuss how we can work together to deliver the health services our community deserves.

“I hope to arrange this meeting at an appropriate time and hope that each elected member attends with an open mind and a commitment to setting aside their differences and ‘political colours’ to deliver for the community.”