SUPPORT: Dr Tim Wellington of Emerald Hospital, Dr Ewan McPhee and State MP Vaughan Johnson lend their support to the Emerald Health Action Group at a meeting on Friday. cont
SUPPORT: Dr Tim Wellington of Emerald Hospital, Dr Ewan McPhee and State MP Vaughan Johnson lend their support to the Emerald Health Action Group at a meeting on Friday. cont

Consultation time up

CONSULTATIONS with Central Queenslanders on plans to fix rural health services close tomorrow, after which Health Reform Agenda details will be released.

Details will include localised networks responsible for the general operations of public hospitals and clarify the boundaries of local health services following consultations with 113 stakeholders from Central Queensland communities, including Emerald and the Central Highlands.

But Emerald Health Action Group spokesperson, Larissa Burnett, said she was concerned by Queensland Health’s definition of ‘local’.

“I’m very sceptical of how local they’re talking,” Ms Burnett said. “Emerald is a part of the Rockhampton district, so it’ll be interesting to see how many districts they’ll have throughout the state after the consultations.

“If there is going to be more than 18, then we know it’ll be smaller and more de-centralised from the existing districts, and therefore, run more locally.”

The Emerald Health Action Group met with health and political leaders on Friday who agreed the solution to Emerald’s health services was a co-located clinic to integrate doctors, allied health providers, nurses and practice managers in one facility.

State MP Vaughan Johnson said the clinic would provide professional and personal support to health workers needed to encourage doctors to stop in Emerald.

“To my mind, the strongest argument for a co-located clinic is that it provides rural GPs with a career pathway that can compete with the opportunities in cities,” Mr Johnson said. “We will only keep those doctors in Emerald if we can offer them a career pathway in the district, and the co-located clinic is the key to that.”

The deadline for the grant submission is December 2.

“I’m very sceptical of how local they’re talking.”

Emerald Health Action Group spokesperson, Larissa Burnett


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