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QLD nurses rally to save TB clinic

The Queensland Nurses Union has met with the state's health minister last week to try to convince him to keep the state's tuberculosis control centre open.

The government is planning to decentralise tuberculosis services to be under the control and budgets of new regional health boards, under a shake-up of Queensland Health.

Brisbane's tuberculosis Co-ordination Centre will be scaled back to focus only on policy direction.

More than 50 nurses and hospital administration staff rallied outside Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital, where they passed a resolution which calls on Health Minister Lawrence Springborg to reverse his decision.

The TB Co-ordination Centre, based at the hospital, treated 240 new cases of TB last year.

Queensland Nurses Union secretary Beth Mohle said devolving services is short-sighted and will cost more.

She says there won't be enough specialist staff in regional areas, with most cases of TB taking three years to treat and follow up and cases will fall between the cracks.

The Minister said health services in Queensland will be better when they are run by hospital boards rather than central organisations.

Springborg said 30 hospitals around the state already treat TB effectively.


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