Regional Queensland Health Programs Given a Boost

By Petrina Smith
Tuesday, 27 August, 2013

Regional Queensland Health Programs have been given a boost with the announcement of a new indigenous health clinic and increase in ambulance officers.

A mobile health clinic has received funding in Gladstone to target the needs of indigenous Queensland.  QGC Pty Ltd, in partnership with Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), has provided $475,000 to fit-out an off-road caravan and fund the first two years of clinical services by doctors, nurses and indigenous health workers.

“There is a real need to address indigenous health issues and the best way to do that is to make health professionals mobile and take them to needy communities,” Premier Campbell Newman said.

Mr Newman said the Gladstone-based clinic would serve communities in an area west to Emerald and south to Roma and Miles increasing access to doctors, nurses and Indigenous health workers. The health clinic will be staffed by the Central Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Community Controlled Health Organisation, the peak body for indigenous health in Central Queensland and Wide Bay.

Gladstone will soon have another full-time nightshift ambulance crew with additional paramedics set to join the local service. Five additional paramedics are expected to join Gladstone station in the coming months and will be part of 60 new ambulance officers entering the service this financial year.

“Gladstone is growing in population and the new positions will mean the station will be able to provide an additional night shift crew, which will be staffed 7 days a week,” Community Safety Minister Jack Dempsey said.

Mr Dempsey also handed over the keys to two $215,000 Mercedes single-stretcher ambulances for Gladstone and Calliope.

“This new ambulance is a state-of-the-art, purpose-built emergency response vehicle that gives these paramedics the best available platform to work from,” Mr Dempsey said. “The ambulance provides paramedics a safe and functional mobile workplace while offering patients what could almost be described as an emergency department on wheels. “The inside of the ambulances are ergonomically designed in consultation with Queensland paramedics to ensure they are well suited and safe to carry out their lifesaving work while on road.”

The additional ambulance officers will be stationed at Cairns (5),Townsville (8), Biloela (4), Gladstone (5), Woorabinda (2), Yeppoon (2), Bundaberg Helo (2), Stanthorpe (2), Gympie (4), Tewantin (6), Gatton  (6), Ipswich (4),Mt Tamborine  (5), and Metro North (5).

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