Community advocate Jim Pearce.
Community advocate Jim Pearce.

Support for FIFO health care levy

CENTRAL Queensland community advocate Jim Pearce has praised Australia's chief medical body for suggesting mining companies should pay more for rural health services.

Last week, Queensland Australian Medical Association president Dr Richard Kidd said fly in, fly out workers put a significant strain on health services in mining towns, claiming doctor shortages already being felt would only increase.

He said Moranbah doctors had analysed data which suggested at least a quarter of their patients were FIFO workers.

Mr Pearce congratulated the AMA and said his proposed FIFO/DIDO levy, in which mining companies would pay $20 per transient worker, per week, would allow communities to access funding for much needed services.

"With more than $20 million available for allocation throughout the Bowen Basin towns we could do what government and the companies can't or won't do," Mr Pearce said.

"The levy would ease the pressure on industry and government to do more for communities and would return some of the profits of companies operating in the regions back to the communities."

He said it was helpful to have such a high profile person recognise that health service delivery was under pressure because of FIFO/DIDO employment.


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