Save our hospi­tal

Eidsvold com­mu­nity sends clear mes­sage about lo­cal health

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - ❏ Bran­don Livesay

THE mes­sage of the peo­ple of Eidsvold was loud and clear – “hands off our hospi­tal”. More than 400 peo­ple gath­ered at the com­mu­nity hall on Mon­day night to show

their sup­port for the town’s health ser­vices.

The re­ac­tion came af­ter the re­gion’s health board pro­posed last week to “con­sol­i­date beds at Mun­dub­bera Mul­ti­pur­pose Health Ser­vice and to pro­vide pri­mary care fa­cil­i­ties at Eidsvold”.

I was born and raised in Eidsvold. It’s my home and the peo­ple at the hospi­tal are like fam­ily to me.

THE mes­sage of the peo­ple of Eidsvold was loud and clear – “hands off our hospi­tal”.

More than 400 peo­ple gath­ered at the com­mu­nity hall on Mon­day night.

They were there to show their sup­port for the town’s hospi­tal af­ter a pro­posal from the Wide Bay Hospi­tal and Health Ser­vice board last week “to con­sol­i­date beds at Mun­dub­bera Multi-pur­pose Health Ser­vice and to pro­vide pri­mary care fa­cil­i­ties at Eidsvold”.

Last week, Queens­land Pre­mier Camp­bell New­man said the Eidsvold Hospi­tal would not close but res­i­dents re­main anx­ious about the fu­ture of their health ser­vices.

Wide Bay Health and Hospi­tal Ser­vice board chair­man Gary Kirk apol­o­gised to the com­mu­nity “for the emo­tional up­heaval” the an­nounce­ment caused.

Mr Kirk said the board was fo­cused on pro­vid­ing a model of care that was “in the best in­ter­ests” of the Eidsvold com­mu­nity.

But res­i­dents were clearly still up­set and ten­sions sim­mered, as Mr Kirk de­liv­ered his speech.

Board mem­bers ad­dressed the town meet­ing and stressed the pro­posal was only the be­gin­ning of a con­sul­ta­tion process.

But com­mu­nity mem­ber Julie Tye was trou­bled the pro­posal was drafted with­out any con­sul­ta­tion.

She de­scribed the sit­u­a­tion as “most un­sat­is­fac­tory”.

“Not one of th­ese board mem­bers ap­proached an Eidsvold com­mu­nity mem­ber,” she said.

“Re­duc­tions in ser­vices or the clo­sure of the hospi­tal will have far reach­ing ram­i­fi­ca­tions for the com­mu­nity.”

Sev­eral com­mu­nity mem­bers re­ceived ap­plause and stand­ing ova­tions, as they stated their dis­sat­is­fac­tion with the board mem­bers.

“I don’t be­lieve this board is ca­pa­ble of run­ning a chook raf­fle,” one res­i­dent said.

Eidsvold com­mu­nity mem­ber Peter Web­ster called on Min­is­ter for Health Lawrence Spring­borg to re­view the per­for­mance of the board.

“The com­mu­nity has no con­fi­dence in the board’s ca­pac­ity to de­liver health ser­vices to us,” Mr Web­ster said.

A steer­ing com­mit­tee will be set up to pro­vide com­mu­nity in­put into the fu­ture of the hospi­tal.

And a meet­ing will be held to­day to fur­ther dis­cuss the sit­u­a­tion be­tween key stake­hold­ers.

Mem­ber for Cal­lide Jeff Seeney said he was pleased to see the board and the Eidsvold com­mu­nity work­ing to­gether to en­sure the pro­vi­sion of health ser­vices.

Photo: Bran­don Livesay

HANDS OFF: Os­car Chap­man is one of the six per­ma­nent aged care pa­tients at Eidsvold Hospi­tal.

Photo: Bran­don Livesay

HOSPITALSUPPORT: More than 400 res­i­dents fill the EidsvoldCom­mu­nity Hall to voice their con­cerns about the fu­ture of the lo­cal hospi­tal.

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