Qld medical community criticises cuts to communicable diseases treatment

22 Apr 2013

There’s growing unease in public health circles about Queensland’s management of communicable diseases, as cuts to health services in the state continue.

The state’s largest sexual health HIV clinic—Biala House—is the latest target, as the Newman government seeks to shift costs from the state to the commonwealth.

Health experts are warning that closing the facility will lead to a rise in sexually transmitted diseases in Queensland. Biala House sees 13,000 clients a year, and about half are HIV/AIDS patients. But after operating it for several decades, the Health Department has announced plans to close the sexual health clinic this month, although following community outcry, it’s agreed to keep the HIV clinic open with limited capacity.

GPs will be expected to pick up the burden, but with only six or seven GPs in Brisbane eligible to prescribe HIV medication, AMA Queensland president, Alex Markwell, says there are serious concerns.

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