MISSED pay cheques and millions of dollars worth of embezzlement plagued Queensland Health in the past 12 months but the Southern Downs' own Lawrence Springborg has taken on the challenge of rescuing the shambolic system.
The Member for Southern Downs accepted the job as Minister for Health yesterday and while some Daily News Facebook users theorised it was a punishment, Mr Springborg saw it as a compliment.
"I must admit I did a double take," he said.
"I think this is a vote of confidence by Campbell Newman in me... it is up to me to prove I can make a difference.
"I know there are some challenges with this portfolio and I am really looking forward to the opportunity."
He said cutting through bureaucratic red tape was a priority.
"We need to make sure the dollars we have for the health care budget get through to the patients and we get maximum bang for the dollars we spend," Mr Springborg said.
"Do we run efficiently? I don't believe we are (at the moment)."
He said regional health, mental health, dental and indigenous health all needed to be addressed.
"There are so many different health issues and if we really value our staff and the system really supports them, I think we will get far better outcomes for patients," Mr Springborg said.
"We can't have things such as the payroll debacle and Tahitian princes running off with millions.
"This portfolio consumes a quarter of the Queensland budget; it's about $10 billion and I am going to do my little bit to make sure as much if it as possible gets to the frontline."
Mr Springborg said the minister role was a big job but there was no doubt he could still serve the Southern Downs electorate.
"I am going to make sure to look after the Southern Downs as well as having a voice around the Cabinet table," he said.
"My heart is very much in the Southern Downs.
"Does it mean I'll have ministerial responsibility around the state? Of course it does. But I think my electorate has been very understanding of that when I was Opposition Leader and I think that will continue."
Mr Springborg said he would be officially sworn in next Tuesday.
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