Doors to open for clinic
RESIDENTS are being assured that Mareeba will receive excellent health care after recent concerns over the General Practice (GP) Bulk Billing Clinic located at the hospital, but questions still need to be answered.
The doors to the clinic will open on October 3 and the clinic will be run by Amaroo Medical.
Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHHS) chief executive Clare Douglas said arrangements are currently being finalised for the co-located clinic, and further details would be available once contractual arrangements are in place.
“During this process we have examined several models of care to ensure improved primary health care services for the people of Mareeba and this is a great example of how working together can help achieve a positive outcome,” she said.
“Hospitals are best placed to provide acute care. The new clinic will provide primary care services and the two facilities will work closely to ensure the people of Mareeba receive the best possible health care.”
Amaroo Medical doctor and owner Cheryl Harnischfeger said they were applying for funding for the extension of their current centre when they were made aware that the COAG funding would be stopping and Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) were looking to make a different plan for GP services.
She said NQPHN are funding all the information technology side and software of the practice, Queensland Health is supplying the staff and facilities and Amaroo are providing the administrations and know how.
“The contract has not been signed yet but there have been discussions that we will run it until June next year and then we will discuss it with QLD Health and see what the best course is after that,” she said.
“The Mareeba community can be assured they will be looked after and there will a long term solution to help the whole community.”
Representatives of the Save the Mareeba Hospital Group said they believe that the best outcome for the Mareeba Hospital and the Mareeba Community is for the Mareeba Hospital to run the private clinic.
Member Ross Cardillo said NQPHN advised in a meeting held in Mareeba on June 7 that only private owned GP clinics were eligible to run a bulk billing clinic at Mareeba Hospital.
He said it was reinforced at a meeting held on July 7 where they were advised that profits must stay with private enterprise.
He said the main aim of the group is to make sure the best outcome is made for the Mareeba community and that vital services are kept and added to at the hospital.
NQPHN were contacted by the Tablelands Advertiser for comment but did not provide a response before deadline.
Mareeba District Hospital.