Health board chairman says to work together
THE North Burnett needs to start working together, says Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board chairman Gary Kirk.
Mr Kirk, deputy chairwoman Barbara Hovard and board member Adrian Daniel visited Monto, Eidsvold, Mundubbera, Gayndah and Biggenden this week to meet Community Advisory Network members.
Mr Kirk didn’t promise to deliver on any CAN wish lists but praised each health service for what they were already doing well. After listening to concerns at each centre, he gave a guarantee he would investigate further.
“The board overviews hospitals and health services and faces challenging times,” he said.
“I don’t like to raise expectations and then not deliver.”
Concerns included patient transport, difficulty attracting permanent doctors and potential funding losses especially in counselling services.
Mr Kirk said it was vital North Burnett towns did not compete against each other.
“We don’twant Monto com- peting against Gayndah for example,” he said.
“You need to see the North Burnett as your area and work together to achieve the best outcomes for all.”
Dot Hamilton OAM of Eidsvold recently joined Annette Evans on the Bundaberg and Rural CAN, to continue the in- put from the North Burnett to the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board.
But the board is searching for one new member who has a strong understanding of rural communities.
Mr Kirk urged people with the necessary qualifications to apply straight away as applications close on December 3.
He also expressed his appreciation to Councillor Faye Whelan and Mundubbera CAN chairwoman Sandra Schulz for organising the meetings so all health centres in the North Burnett could be visited in two days.
Biggenden CAN chairman Don Proctor thanked the trio for their interest.
“This has never happened in the past,” he said.
“We are not going to fix everything overnight but we are making progress.”
Rotary Lodge was highlighted with all agreeing what an asset the Bundaberg facility is to the people of the North Burnett.
“Problems will take time to rectify; quality counts, finance matters and that’s the reality,” Mr Kirk said.
“We are well aware that health services are an important part of the fabric of rural communities and are committed to maintaining and enhancing these services.”
CANDO: Although not making promises, Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board chairman Gary Kirk (centre) did guarantee issues raised at North Burnett Community Advisory Networks meetingswould be investigated. Mr Kirk was accompanied by boardmembers Barbara Hovard (right) and Adrian Daniel (left). Also in the photo are Mundubbera CAN chairwoman Sandra Schulz and Cr Faye Whelan who co-ordinated the meetings throughout the North Burnett.