Sue and Ian Johnson, faces of this year’s Relay for Life, hope the new super clinic will attract specialist services to the area.
Sue and Ian Johnson, faces of this year’s Relay for Life, hope the new super clinic will attract specialist services to the area.

Will clinic meet complex needs?

CANCER doesn’t discriminate when choosing its victims, but to bush sufferers, it feels like the health system does.

Emerald’s Sue Johnson and her husband Ian, this year’s faces of Relay For Life, have to make a six-hour round trip to Rockhampton for 20 minutes of treatment not available in the Central Highlands.

“I’m just a simple member of the public who would benefit greatly from one of these (GP super) clinics,” she told the recent information meeting.

“I have massive and complex medical issues and my question is around privacy laws and sharing of information.

“It’s all very well to say we’re going to share information with cloud technology and all this, but how impractical is this going to work out because from personal experience, I can sign thousands of pieces of paper saying ‘yes you can access my information’ and yet there’s still problems.

“When I’ve got that many specialists and that many doctors in different pockets, I just want to know how this sharing of information is going to make my life easier.”

GP Super Clinic representative Anne Thorpe said the Federal Government was sinking significant resources into solving problems surrounding e-health technology.

“I think it’s the future of health and we have had a couple of goes getting that started in Australia and we have faltered as we have gone along, but it looks like there are advancements.

“The e-health transitional authority, organisations like that, are really working to try and bring the reality of what clearly would be of some benefit to you.”

Mr Johnson said while his wife was now getting cancer-fighting injections in Emerald, he remained sceptical about how long the arrangement would stay in place.

“My concern is because of the tyranny of distance, will these e-services be (available) or stop us needing to leave town?” he posed.

“Can the GP Super Clinic process attract specialists to perform tasks that aren’t available in the community at this time?”


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