The Palaszczuk government has announced an investment of $104 million to build and upgrade improved healthcare facilities in five locations in rural Queensland.
The five establishments involved in the tenders will be the Blackwater Multipurpose Health Service, the Morven Primary Health Care Centre, the St George Community and Allied Health Building, the Charleville Healthwise Building and the Camooweal Primary Health Care Centre.
The projects are expected to be completed in early 2023.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the improvements are an example of the state government’s commitment to ensuring equality with regard to healthcare facilities, regardless of their location.
“This much-needed investment will help us continue to provide modern, quality health services in each of these communities,” said Minister D’Ath.
“The existing health facilities in these cities have served their communities well, but they are aging and need to be replaced.
“The new facilities will be built to last and will incorporate more contemporary clinical spaces and the latest medical technology.
“The construction of the five projects will support 199 jobs and provide a significant boost to local economies.
“Our record $22.2 billion healthcare budget includes more than $1.3 billion in capital expenditures to create the new healthcare facilities of the future.”
Chair of Morven Community Advisory Network Cathy Bureysaid the group had been fighting for better health services in their city for the better part of a decade.
“We have been calling for a new clinic for over five years due to the age of the current building, the lack of privacy and confidentiality it provides, and the degree of difficulty in removing a patient and transporting them should they need to. lying down,” she said.
“Morven is very passionate about our clinic and the invaluable support it provides to our small rural community and we fought to keep it going when Queensland Health threatened to close it about eight years ago.
“We sent a delegation to the then Minister of Health, Laurence Springborg, and managed to get her reinstated with not one but two full-time nurses working here and on call for emergencies, seven days out of seven.
“We are very fortunate to have the service we have as Morven has a large elderly population, a growing number of younger children and families and a rural community that is mostly involved in dangerous farming and ranching practices on a daily basis. .
“We are of course excited about the new clinic and the benefits it will bring to our nursing staff and community and look forward to its completion.”
Morven local Louise Winten said she and other members of the Morven Progress Association are thrilled that their new health facility is finally becoming a reality.
“Any investment or new infrastructure in our city is very exciting,” she said.
“With the pub, the Pick A Box motel and the information center we have all these new buildings in town and it’s great to have an investment.
“We’ve been talking about it for a long time.”
Ms Winten said the new Morven Primary Health Care Center building is expected to be built on the same site as the previous centre, alongside the recent addition of new nurses’ accommodation.
Senior media adviser for the office of Yvette D’Ath, Martin Philip confirmed that funding for the primary health care center in Morven would include investment in nurse-led clinics, a 24-hour ambulance service and 7 days a week and telehealth services.
Immunization clinics, home and community care programs, Aboriginal health and outreach services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, dietetics and nutrition, and mental health are also part of Morven who will receive funding from the new investment.
Blackwater will see improvements to acute hospital medical services, palliative care, emergency x-ray services and residential long-term and respite care, while Charleville and St George are looking to improve their clinical and general support areas, non-acute facilities and to build a rehabilitation gym and physiotherapy treatment space.
Camooweal Primary Health Center will benefit from upgrades to its emergency services, as well as the Royal Flying Doctor Service programme, women’s mobile health, trachoma hearing health service and care assessment to the elderly.
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