12 Feb 2018
IDEAS needed to Close the Gap
The Palaszczuk Government's decision to cut funding for the Indigenous Diabetes Eyes and Screening Van (IDEAS) is putting Indigenous Queenslanders health at risk.
LNP Shadow Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Dr Christian Rowan said Labor urgently needed to step up and restore funding, with patients' health being put at risk by the funding cut.
"This week on the 13th of February our nation recognises the significance of the National Apology which occurred on the same day ten years ago,” Dr Rowan said.
“If Labor is committed to Closing the Gap they need to restore funding to the IDEAS Van.
"Since 2013 this van has travelled more than 200,000 kilometres and helped save or restore the eyesight of thousands of indigenous Queenslanders.
"But this good work is being put at risk by a heartless decision by Labor not to continue the van’s funding."
Dr Rowan said Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Health Minister had made it clear he had no intention of restoring funding.
"Jackie Trad is the Deputy Premier and Treasurer. She needs to step in and over-rule this callous decision," Dr Rowan said.
"The health budget is more than $16 billion. Surely there's room to set aside just a little bit of funding so that this van can continue helping indigenous Queenslanders.
"Cutting funding for this service will have a real impact on the ground, as highlighted by IWC General Manager Wayne Mulvany."**
** Wayne Mulvany quote: "Our community has been left hanging. Something needs to be done before the death knell sounds for this vital service..."