OPINION: WA's health more important than ours
THE ONGOING debacle over the Sunshine Coast University Hospital's medical school is ridiculous.
There, I've said.
You don't build the world's best restaurant and then decide to only stock it with half the food it requires.
So why is it even up for discussion whether or not the placements needed to make the medical school viable, and in doing so, fully-functional, will be given to us?
Sure, there might be a few difficult discussions with some well-established sandstone universities in capital cities, but I'm sure they'll be fine.
The regions are where improved medical resources are required, so why can't we grab a few placements from the cities and have them here?
The Federal Government is allowed to be concerned about the future of specialist training places, and that is something for the State and Federal Governments to sort out.
But one budgy-smuggling former PM made a rod for the Federal Government's back in May last year when, in what can only be seen as a political play to sure up what had been declining support in key WA electorates, Tony Abbott threw $20 million at Curtin University for its new medical school.
By 2022 Curtin Uni's med school will be pumping out 120 students per annum.
So clearly specialist training places can't have been too much of a concern to the Federal Government 18 months ago.
It's hard to see money being the issue.
The Turnbull Government pledged $35 million if re-elected, to the USC campus in Moreton Bay, in amongst the territory of MP Luke Howarth (1% swing towards him and elected) and controversial Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, who suffered a 5% swing against him (but was elected) when we went to the polls back in July.
In fact, Wyatt Roy lost his seat of Longman on the back of a more-than 7% swing against him and the LNP lost in the seat of Moreton with a 2% swing against them.
Would we be seeing this same politicking if we'd turned away from the LNP at the polls, or at least softened their margins up? I doubt it.
Both Andrew Wallace and Ted O'Brien were elected on very comfortable margins, the Coast once again showing loyalty to the Federal Coalition.
To their credit they only walked into the job in July and both seem eager to get a resolution to this and have a fully-functional medical school established.
State Labor Health Minister Cameron Dick even acknowledged that.
The message needs to be heard by both Mr Dick's State colleagues and the rest of the Federal Government: politics must be put aside and a full medical school must be established.
To hear some in the community say we are being greedy in demanding this is mind boggling. We were promised a full med school.