HEALTHY OUTLOOK FOR OUR REGION Wide range of services available despite no bulk-billing doctors
RESIDENTS in the Banana Shire have recently raised concerns that there are no bulk-billing doctors in town, however local health representatives say there are a lot more health services available than most people realise.
Di Morris from Biloela Enterprise’s Biloela Health System Action Group said many of the doctors would bulk-bill if there were extenuating circumstances.
The new GP After-Hours House Call Doctor, Dr GB Singh, is also fully bulk-billed, available from 6pm–midnight.
Mrs Morris said her main concern for the town was to see stability in maternity services, given that the main age of the town was 25-45, the baby boomers.
The health action group regularly meets with Central Queensland Hospital Health Service and Public Health Network.
“Things are starting to happen,” Mrs Morris said.
She said it was crucial for people to know they would not have to be transferred to Gladstone or Rockhampton during their pregnancy or when giving birth.
“Women who are having babies here, private or public, they don't have to travel unless there is a risk,” she said.
In more exciting news for the region’s health sector, an oncology nurse is now employed at the Biloela Hospital.
The new telechemotherapy service allows suitable patients to access some of their cancer treatment at Biloela Hospital, with local clinicians supported by specialist cancer staff in Rockhampton via video-link.
Staff at the hospital are also using telehealth services more than ever.
“So there is lot of pockets of positive,” Mrs Morris said.
Stability in locum doctors was also starting to improve, which was another positive, Mrs Morris said.
Surgical procedures locally were also a focus.
Mental health services were also strong with many options for counselling and work towards suicide prevention.
The health action group has an ultimate goal of getting the hospital rebuilt.
In terms of aged care, Mrs Morris said there was already a really good facility in town with Wahroonga and the options of community health services like Bluecare and support in the home.
“So we are very fortunate,” she said.
“But there is always room for improvement.”
The biggest misconception is knowing what is available.
“It is not promoted enough,” Mrs Morris said. “You don’t look for it until
you need it.”
Central Queensland Hospital and Health Services executive director Gladstone-Banana Joanne Glover said Biloela Hospital was a key rural facility for the Banana Shire, providing support to smaller hospitals including Theodore, Moura
The Biloela Hospital has 24 beds, a 24/7 Emergency Department, inpatient and allied health services, as well as dental services.
“Through visiting specialists, it provides general surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, mental
health and drug and alcohol services,” Ms Glover said.
“The hospital provides educational support to nurses and doctors of the future, who are a valuable part of the workforce.”
Another positive for the hospital and its future is this year the facility gained
accreditation for Rural Generalist Training with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.
Rural Generalists are qualified doctors with advanced skills in obstetrics or anaesthetics providing support services at Biloela Hospital.
HEALTHY TEAM: Biloela Health System Action Group members (BHSAG a group auspiced by Biloela Enterprise) with CQHealth staff and Wahroonga Retirement Village staff at Wahroonga at a meeting earlier in the year. Pictured are Rosie from Wahroonga, Jo Glover from CQHealth, Joy Pittman from CQ Health Biloela Hospital, Di Morris who is president of Biloela Enterprise, Lorna Perrett from Wahroonga and Ron Carige the Chair of BHSAG.