Why are we still waiting Mr Rudd?
TWO years after Kevin Rudd promised a GP super clinic for Bundaberg, residents are still waiting for answers on when the centre will open despite Mr Rudd announcing a further two super clinics for Brisbane to be finished by 2011 on Thursday.
Bundaberg Hospital Patients Support Group president Beryl Crosby said the group was tired of waiting for answers regarding the desperately-needed facility.
“We need somewhere we can access after hours without money in our pockets,” Mrs Crosby said.
Mrs Crosby attended the community consultation regarding the clinic in December last year and said she made a plea to Health Minister Nicola Roxon.
“I said please don’t leave this place thinking we don’t need the clinic, we definitely do,” she said.
Mrs Crosby said the need for the super clinic grew as fewer GPs offered bulk billing.
“Bulk billing is an issue in Bundaberg. We have a lot of unemployed and a lot of pensioners,” she said.
When Mr Rudd announced the two new super clinics for Brisbane, he listed many of the same issues Mrs Crosby did in regard to the need.
“If you’ve got a sick kid at 10 o’clock at night, you want some flexible hours so you can take your kid down to the local GP rather than having to trek him down to the emergency ward ... and wait for hours,” Mr Rudd said at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane on Thursday.
“My experience is that most kids time their sickness for the most inconvenient times, and we need to be more flexible by the way we have community services available.”
The News Mail contacted the Department of Health and Ageing on Thursday afternoon.
Despite repeated calls last week, the Department refused to justify how two new clinics could be announced with no moves on the Bundaberg super clinic having been made since February and instead referred to a response given in late October.
The previous response, as the News Mail reported on October 29, provided no information on who would be operating the clinic or even a date when more information would be available.
Member for Hinkler Paul Neville said he was currently talking to the Health Minister about the proposed clinic and what options might be available.
“There seems to be a view in the local medical community that a different solution is needed to our specific challenges,” he said.
“I made my thoughts on that quite clear to the Minister when she last visited Bundaberg.”
The GP super clinics will provide a set of community based, extended GP and allied health services.
The Federal Government has announced 38 super clinics to be built across Australia.
The two new medical clinics, costing $7.5 million, will be opened in Annerley and Logan.
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