Not a pri­or­ity

Health min­is­ter says no to hy­drother­apy pool

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page -

CHILDERS’ hy­drother­apy pool is “un­funded” and “not a pri­or­ity” for the re­gion, ac­cord­ing to Health Min­is­ter Cameron Dick.

Mr Dick was of­fi­cially re­spond­ing to re­cent pe­ti­tions tabled in State Par­lia­ment last month by Mem­ber for Bur­nett Stephen Ben­nett.

Mr Ben­nett tabled the pe­ti­tions on be­half of lo­cal res­i­dents de­mand­ing the fund­ing for the $300,000 pool be re­in­stated.

More than 500 res­i­dents signed the pe­ti­tions.

In a let­ter to the par­lia­men­tary clerk last week, Mr Dick said there was no fund­ing al­lo­cated for the pool by the for­mer Health Min­is­ter, Lawrence Spring­borg, and it was noth­ing more than an elec­tion com­mit­ment.

“I am also ad­vised that the Wide Bay Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice had not been con­sulted or ad­vised by the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment and was not aware of any pro­posal un­til pub­lished in the lo­cal media,” he said.

“I’m also ad­vised that the un­funded hy­drother­apy pool is nei­ther a pri­or­ity nor short-term ob­jec­tive of the Wide Bay Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice.”

How­ever, Mr Ben­nett said the hy­drother­apy pool was a fully costed and funded com­mit­ment by the then State Gov­ern­ment to give the peo­ple of Childers and sur­round­ing re­gion “ac­cess to the health fa­cil­i­ties it de­served”.

“I will again re­it­er­ate that this pro­ject was not tied to re-elec­tion and I ve­he­mently re­ject any ab­surd al­le­ga­tions to the con­trary,” he said.

“This was a com­mu­nity-driven cam­paign, sup­ported by Childers aged care fa­cil­ity For­est View and lo­cal health pro­fes­sion­als.”

Mr Ben­nett said the hy­drother­apy pool should be given pri­or­ity and would prove to be a won­der­ful as­set for the com­mu­nity.

“Hy­drother­apy has been proven to have enor­mous ben­e­fits for re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion to help peo­ple re­cover from phys­i­cal and neu­ro­log­i­cal in­juries,” he said.

“Childers and the sur­round­ing dis­trict is typ­i­cally an age­ing pop­u­la­tion.

“This fa­cil­ity would en­sure pa­tients can ac­cess the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ser­vices they re­quire with­out hav­ing to travel far.”

A Wide Bay Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice spokesman said it had not been in­volved in any dis­cus­sion re­gard­ing any pro­posal to build a hy­drother­apy pool in Childers.

PHOTO: MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

NOT HAPPY: The Childers com­mu­nity ral­lied to protest against the state gov­ern­ment's de­ci­sion to pull $300,000 from a hy­drother­apy pool fund­ing pro­ject.

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