Queensland nurses protested on Wednesday in a rally at Brisbane the changes to the state's health services which they said could be fatal to patients.
In particular, the Queensland Nurses Union is against alleged plans to decentralise some health services such as cancer screening currently being done by BreastScreen Queensland to local health boards and those performed by the Tuberculosis Coordination Centre.
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The nurses held their rally at the Princess Alexandra Hospital at noon.
The union insisted that the 60-year-old Tuberculosis Coordination Centre, which treats 240 new TB cases yearly, must continue to remain open to ensure the availability of a controlled, coordinated approach to managing the disease.
"We cannot let the health of Queenslanders suffer because of the Queensland government's short-sightedness," the union said in a statement.
Beth Mohle, union secretary, asked the state government to stop all the public health changes immediately and consult first its health staff and the community before implementing any changes.
However, Queensland Chief Health Office Jeannette Young insisted that there will be no changes to the BreastScreen service, only some alterations to the way it is run. Premier Campbell Newman assured there will be no funding cuts to health services despite the planned changes which are part of the larger revamp of Queensland Health.
The state government also said that it is part of health reforms on a national level, but federal Health Minister Tanya Plisbersek clarified that the changes do not require the decentralisation of statewide screening services such as that for breast cancer screening.
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