Health Crisis Meeting chance to speak up

The meeting will be on 9 August PHOTO: FILE

By Jessica McGrath

South Burnett residents will have the vital opportunity to speak up and force change when it comes to local hospital services.

Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington is encouraging the South Burnett community to participate in a Health Crisis Meeting, which will be held in Kingaroy on Tuesday, 9 August.

“Every day I receive complaints from patients and staff about our local hospital services in Kingaroy, Murgon and Nanango,” she said.

The LNP’s 20th Queensland Health Crisis Town Hall meeting will be an important opportunity for residents to share their firsthand experiences of the healthcare services.

“Since the opening of the new Kingaroy Hospital in early 2021, I have been asking the Labor Government questions about the staffing at the facility, problems with its construction and the lack of services we are still experiencing,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“I’m always talking about the lack of mental health services, the lack of palliative care services and pediatrician services -what we see is a $92 million hospital that has been built, it was meant to be $62 million.

“It’s blown out… and the hospital is broken -the hospital floods, the doors don’t work, the nurses aren’t supported and the nurses are severely understaffed and what that is leading to is a major crisis within the South Burnett health system.”

Mrs Frecklington raised the question as to why there was no increase in mental health services, or specific mental health beds, in the new hospital, since the region has one of the highest rates of suicide in the state.

This meeting announcement comes after Darling Downs Health launched its Local Area Health Needs Assessment in June and has wrapped up its next stage this week -a community-wide survey to collect health care experiences.

Darling Downs Health’s Clinical Redesign and Innovation Manager Wendy Pannach said they had a wonderful response in the first stage, with many community stories informing the survey in the second stage. The survey closed on 27 July.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli and Shadow Minister for Health, Ros Bates will be attending the Kingaroy Town Hall meeting on 9 August.

“We want to hear people’s stories so we can keep pressing the State Government to listen and take some real action,” Mrs Frecklington said.

The first Queensland Health Crisis Town Hall was held in Mt Gravatt in June 2021 and since then communities from Cairns to Mt Isa, Bundaberg, Ipswich and the Gold Coast have shared their health stories.

Details about how to register for this event will be available on Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington’s Facebook page soon.