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Question Time: Funding extra hospital beds for the COVID-19 surge once borders open

During Question time on Wednesday 27 October 2021, I asked the Health Minister whether the Labor State Government will step up to ensure Queensland's hospital system is adequately resourced for the impending influx of COVID-19 cases once borders open. 

You can read the full question and her answer below, or in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard).

Mr BERKMAN: My question is to the Minister for Health. Earlier this month the Premier said Queensland hospitals need extra funding to prepare for opening our borders, but since the federal LNP
refused their request the government has pretended everything is fine. Has the government simply given up on fully funding and preparing our hospitals and ICUs for surging COVID cases?

Mrs D’ATH: I thank the member for Maiwar for his question, but I am not sure where he has been. To say that we have pretended that nothing is going on shows me that the member for Maiwar has not
even walked out the front door, looked at a TV or a phone or any sort electronic device and has been living under a rock. Every single day we have been talking about the pressures on the health system in
this state. I am not going to let the Commonwealth off the hook. It is not okay. I have just spoken about the fact we have stepped up and put extra funding into getting people out of hospital beds and into aged
care and NDIS accommodation. I have just said that. This is extra money that we are putting in that is a Commonwealth responsibility. The Commonwealth should not be let off the hook.

Mr Dick: Why do you attack Labor and not the LNP?

Mr SPEAKER: The Treasurer will cease his interjections.

Mr Dick interjected.

Mr SPEAKER: The Treasurer is warned under the standing orders. Comments will be directed through the chair. I have tried to give guidance.

Mrs D’ATH: I take that interjection because it is quite interesting that the Greens constantly criticise the Labor government for the Liberal’s failures. We get criticised for the Liberal’s failures and
asked why are we not picking up where they fail. It is not our job to fill all the voids left behind by Liberal governments. The Commonwealth government has a key responsibility when it comes to health care in this state and this country. It is not okay to ask: why are you not filling the gap left by the Commonwealth? The member for Maiwar should be standing up and calling on the government, as we are, but also calling on the LNP on the other side, who give them preferences so they can get elected, to support our efforts for more funding but also for more efforts for vaccination. Every single member in this chamber has a responsibility. If you are worried about pressures on the health system, if you are worried about ramping, if you are worried about bed capacity, if you are worried about what is going to happen when we have this virus through every one of our communities, then you will be getting up every single day and using every avenue you have available to you to call on people to get vaccinated. That is your job. That is our job. That is our responsibility.

Mr SPEAKER: Through the chair, please.

Mrs D’ATH: If you are not doing that then you are failing the people of Queensland, because that is the most important thing that every single member of this parliament can be doing right now. It is the most important thing because our economy cannot grow and we cannot support jobs if we do not have a strong health system. Every single person in this chamber needs to—

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