Tablelands Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Bron­wyn Wheatcroft To com­ment on this story: ed­i­to­rial@table­land­news­pa­ face­­land­sad­ver­tiser

THE ster­il­i­sa­tion unit at the Ma­reeba Hos­pi­tal will be moved to Ather­ton be­cause it no longer meets stan­dards.

A meet­ing was held in Ma­reeba on Mon­day with mem­bers of Save the Ma­reeba Hos­pi­tal, Cairns and Hin­ter­land Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice (CHHHS), North­ern Queens­land Pri­mary Health Net­work and Ma­reeba Cham­ber of Com­merce.

It was re­vealed in the meet­ing that the ster­il­i­sa­tion units did not meet Na­tional Ster­il­i­sa­tion Stan­dards .

Save the Ma­reeba Hos­pi­tal Con­cerned Cit­i­zens Group spokesman De­nis McKin­ley said their fears had been re­vealed with restor­ing the Ma­reeba Hos­pi­tal to its full func­tional ca­pac­ity.

“What my con­cerns are how it got to this level,” he said.

“How would you al­low it to get to that con­di­tion and al­low it to get un­der stan­dard?

“Los­ing the ster­il­i­sa­tion unit means the hos­pi­tal is not at the ca­pac­ity to main­tain their own func­tion­al­ity. Ma­reeba is at a dis­ad­van­tage be­cause they don’t have an area on site to main­tain their own ster­il­i­sa­tion.

“My con­cern is that how could they al­low equip­ment to get out of op­er­a­tional use and not main­tain their base core func­tions as a hos­pi­tal.”

Cairns and Hin­ter­land Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Gabrielle Honey­wood said there will be no de­cline in ser­vices at Ma­reeba Hos­pi­tal.

“A re­cent in­ter­nal re­view found that the ster­il­i­sa­tion unit at Ma­reeba Hos­pi­tal did not meet re­quired min­i­mum stan­dards, and this ser­vice is now be­ing pro­vided from Ather­ton Hos­pi­tal for the Table­lands to en­sure com­pli­ance,” she said.

“The Ma­reeba Hos­pi­tal con­tin­ues to pro­vide ser­vices from their op­er­at­ing the­atres.”

Cham­ber of Com­merce pres­i­dent Joe Moro said the meet­ing was pri­mar­ily about the con­tin­ued GP ser­vice and bulk billing for pa­tients at the Ma­reeba Hos­pi­tal.

He said that the cham­ber hosted the meet­ing so that all par­ties could work to­gether with NQPH Net­work to re­solve the GP clinic ser­vices and bulk billing to re­place the COAG fund af­ter Septem­ber 1 2017. This will make sure that pa­tients are not dis­ad­van­taged and en­sures that CHHS, con­cerned res­i­dents, Coun­cil, GPs and NQPH Net­work work to­gether.

“Progress is slow on re­plac­ing the COAG fund­ing and it is im­por­tant that we re­ceive an ex­ten­sion to the time to sort out GP ser­vices at the Ma­reeba hos­pi­tal,” he said.

In the meet­ing there were also dis­cus­sions re­gard­ing the new GP co-lo­ca­tion model of care, which will com­mence in Oc­to­ber.

Ms Honey­wood said the hos­pi­tal will con­tinue to work with the NQPHN and a gen­eral prac­tice to fur­ther de­velop the de­tail around the es­tab­lish­ment of a bulk-billed GP ser­vice to be co-lo­cated at the Ma­reeba Hos­pi­tal.

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