“Health is everything. If you look now at the growth, we have made sure that we have the necessary health staff across our state – whether that’s up at Thursday Island, out at Weipa, at Longreach or Charleville, or whether it’s up and down the coast,” Ms Palaszczuk said on Sunday.
“When I look around the country and I look around the other countries, I see the pressure that our staff are under. We need to make sure we continue to grow our health staff to give Queensland families the best possible care.
“Since we were elected in 2015, the Palaszczuk-Labor government has hired 7358 more nurses and midwives, 2450 more doctors, 2025 more health professionals and 812 more paramedics throughout Queensland.”
Ms Frecklington would not say if she would match Labor’s promise, saying only: “I have already announced we would have thousands more frontline health workers.”
Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles said boosting Queensland’s healthcare system had proved crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This government was one of the first in the world to implement nurse ratios; one of the first in the world to say we would legislate for how many nurses there should be for every patient. Now the evidence is very, very clear that ratios save lives,” he said.
Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union secretary Beth Mohle welcomed Sunday’s announcement.
“For us, this election is a wellbeing election, it’s all about the wellbeing of our community,” she said.
“Economy and health care are inexplicably linked, people who try to actually say it’s economy versus health care is making a false argument. We need to invest in our health care if we are going to have a safe and secure society.”
Earlier this month, LNP health spokeswoman Ros Bates said there would also be a focus on recruiting health workers for regional areas under the LNP if elected on October 31.
“This may involve promoting rural health opportunities to young graduates, enhancing career pathways for rural generalist trainees, and exploring opportunities for rural GPs in regional hospitals, in partnership with local medical associations,” she said.
“As part of our plan to provide more health services in regional communities, an LNP government will commission an urgent audit of accommodation provided through rural hospital and health services to consider upgrades that may boost local incentives.”
Toby Crockford is a breaking news reporter at the Brisbane Times