Bundaberg stroke support group member Denise McGraw and MP Jack Dempsey feel the Bundaberg Hospital needs a stroke support unit.Photo: DARRYN SMITH hos1802b
Bundaberg stroke support group member Denise McGraw and MP Jack Dempsey feel the Bundaberg Hospital needs a stroke support unit.Photo: DARRYN SMITH hos1802b

Push for stroke unit in Bundaberg

WHEN Denise McGaw’s husband, Max, suffered a stroke four years ago, the closest dedicated stroke unit he could access was almost 300km away in Caloundra.

The three months Mrs McGaw spent travelling was worth the final result, but has made the full-time carer determined to see a similar facility built in Bundaberg.

“When Max went in he couldn’t walk and when he came out he did not even have a cane,” she said.

Mrs McGaw and the Bundaberg Stroke Support Group are about to start lobbying Queensland Health to have a stroke unit built or a stroke liaison officer based in Bundaberg.

Bundaberg Stroke Support Group president Debbie Keena, who suffered a stroke about 21 years ago, said a stroke unit would be able to provide specialised services such as physiotherapy, speech therapy and a neurologist in one convenient place.

“It is about getting people ready to go home. The sad thing is if someone is on their own, then they are let go on their own with no one to help them,” Ms Keena said.

Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey said the National Stroke Audit Acute Services Organisational Survey Report had identified Bundaberg as one of the top 20 places in need of a dedicated stroke unit.

“There is a need in the area and I’m really calling on Queensland Health to look at putting a stroke unit here,” Mr Dempsey said.

Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Health Service District northern cluster manager Beth Norton said there were no immediate plans to introduce a stroke unit at the Bundaberg Hospital.

“However, the majority of patients in our general rehabilitation ward are either orthopaedic or stroke patients. They will benefit from a new rehabilitation ward as part of the Bundaberg Hospital Expansion Project,” Ms Norton said.



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