Australian Associated Press (05.21.12) - Monday, May 21, 2012
On Sunday, Queensland officials announced a decision to cut
$2.5 million (US $2.47 million) in funding to Healthy
Communities, saying the LGBT service's HIV prevention
initiatives are not effective. New infections in the state
have risen by 50 percent in the last year. Health Minister
Lawrence Springborg said an advisory committee will be
established to help guide outreach efforts.
Dr. Richard Kidd, president of the Australian Medical
Association Queensland, could not say whether pulling funds
from Healthy Communities was the correct decision, but the
doubling of new diagnoses requires a rethinking of prevention
approaches in the state. "If we just keep doing what we've
always done we're just going to get the same result, and at
the moment that result is that it's increased by 50 percent,"
"What I'm pushing for is more funding quite urgently to go
into looking quite quickly but comprehensively at why we're
seeing this increase," Kidd said.
Healthy Communities Executive Director Paul Martin questioned
Springborg's move, saying he did not consult Queensland Health
in cutting support to the service. A ministerial spokesperson
rejected that claim. "It [the funding cut] has been done with
the full consultation under the department's guidance," said
A rally to protest the cut is planned for May 30 in Brisbane.