Patient's relative says hospital ideas ignored

ERIC Hamilton lies in his hospital bed, unable to eat.

He can't eat solids, and has suffered a heart attack.

The 88-year-old long-term Baralaba Hospital resident's health has deteriorated since his family told him he could be moved from the hospital, which has been deemed unsafe in the event of a fire.

Relative Amanda Hamilton said the stress had caused Eric to go downhill, and gave him a mild heart attack.

Eric and the three other aged-care residents will be moved from the facility by today to locations their families have agreed to. It is believed three will be moved to Wahroonga Retirement Village and the fourth to Biloela Hospital.

Amanda blasted Queensland Health's response at a community meeting in the town last week to inform residents what was happening.

Residents from the town, as well as people from Wowan, Goovigen and Biloela, packed the Baralaba RSL Hall.

Many made various suggestions such as fire retardant paint, more sprinklers, fire walls and ramp upgrades, with help from the nearby mine.

However, Amanda feels the ideas have fallen on deaf ears.

“They already had their minds made up before the meeting,” she said.

Central Queensland Health Service District CEO Dr Coralee Barker told the meeting the hospital was an old facility that would burn fast.

Although the hospital passed the national accredited fire safety check three years ago, Dr Barker said there were regular changes to fire regulations, which caused the failed fire check late last year.

“Several issues had been looked at earlier, however suggestions from community members are being investigated,” Dr Barker said.

She said the fire retardant paint and sprinklers could not solve the safety issues.

Architects had visited the hospital last week to look at some options such as fire walls.

“These options are being considered by fire engineers who will advise whether they will ensure safety.

“If it is reasonable to make the changes, this will take time to do.

“Any work would need to be cost effective because funding has been set aside for construction of a new facility.”

Suggestions ... are being investigated

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