HEALTHY OUT­LOOK FOR OUR RE­GION Wide range of ser­vices avail­able de­spite no bulk-billing doc­tors

Central Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - Vanessa Jar­rett Vanessa.Jar­rett@cap­news.com.au

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

and Bar­al­aba.

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.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

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.

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