Chronic pain sufferer Danka Carlton is frustrated that there is no pain clinic in Bundaberg.
Chronic pain sufferer Danka Carlton is frustrated that there is no pain clinic in Bundaberg. Mike Knott BUN041018PAIN2

Painfully inadequate: Hundreds sign Bundy health petition

"IT'S living in a nightmare every day 24/7, 365 days a year - no Christmas, no break, no holiday".

That's how Bundaberg's Danka Carlton described living with severe pain and why she would like a pain specialist in the region.

Ms Carlton said she hasn't been anywhere in the past five years because of her pain.

"It never ends, it's 24/7, it takes a lot for me to stand here and talk because I actually feel like crying - it is painful," she said.

"I can't sit for a long time, I can't lay for a long time, so I don't get a full night's sleep. I'm lucky if I get two and a half hours of uninterrupted sleep a night.

"If I get two and a half I have a good night, most of the time I'm up with pain."

Ms Carlton yesterday joined Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett to call on the Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles to reinstate a pain management clinic in the region.

Mr Bennett is fired up after the minister's response to a petition, with more than 600 signatures, that went to parliament.

"Despite seeing hundreds of signatures of support for the clinic and pleas from residents who are in unbearable pain, Minister Miles has ignored the petition, instead stating the Sunshine Coast HHS provides a chronic pain service as a hub for the area which includes the Bundaberg region," Mr Bennett said.

"The closure of the pain management clinic in Bundaberg (two years ago) has left patients with no options.

"Their health is worsening and they're being forced to travel hundreds of kilometres to Nambour for a face-to-face consultation.

"I'm calling on the Minister to not simply close his eyes and turn his back on these people."

The NewsMail tried to contact the minister for a response yesterday, however was advised he is currently on leave.

A Queensland Health spokesperson said they were committed to ensuring services for persistent pain management were accessible to patients.

"Many Wide Bay residents requiring treatment are being well managed by local general practitioners," the spokesperson said.

"Patients who need specialist care can access a specialist persistent pain management hub at Nambour Hospital.

"This hub is one of six specialist hubs state-wide and provides a best-practice, evidence-based and multi-disciplinary approach to treatment."

The spokesperson said Wide Bay patients who travelled to Nambour for treatment had access to the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme.

"Bundaberg patients also have the option of getting support from the Nambour Hospital hub via a telehealth clinic at Bundaberg Hospital, supported by local nursing staff," the spokesperson said.

"Queensland Health's Persistent Pain Management Network continues to explore ways to improve access to specialist services for Queenslanders."

Ms Carlton said communicating with her specialist over the phone "wasn't adequate".

When asked what she would say to the minister if she was standing in front of him, her response was:

"I'd like him to walk a day in my shoes".



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