Health delivery in rural and remote Queensland is a continuous challenge.
But despite the difficulties, the tiny township of Rolleston in the Central Highlands has created a high quality health facility, with support from local and federal governments, local businesses including Glencore Australia and most importantly the community.
The clinic opened in 2013, and provides regular nursing clinics, regular general practice clinics and a range of visiting services.
These services include counselling, dietetics, occupational therapy, child health, massage therapists, optometry, physiotherapy and a visiting general surgeon.
Dr Louise Russell, a rural GP who has lived in the community for nearly 29 years, continues to be humbled by the support of the community.
"It has been the strength of the community who grew the idea and saw it through to the completion of equipment," Dr Russell said.
“The Rolleston Clinic provides a first class facility which has been equipped to a large part by kind donations from the community," Dr Russell said.
"Nikki Upton, a local girl and the clinic's registered nurse, is really the backbone of the clinic and works tirelessly to deliver a holistic, quality health service."
Dr Russell practices at the clinic one day a week, while Nikki does two days a week.
"The clinic makes the most of technology to enable telehealth with specialists in large centres, she said.
"Now, no patient who needs to consult with a big city specialist requires a long commute, and both the patients and doctors enjoy the benefits.
Dr Russell says that having access to specialists through Skype has improved the health of her remote community.
“It’s just not always practical for country residents to drop everything to get a consultation," Dr Russell said.
"It’s time-consuming and expensive.
"With one elderly gentleman we used Skype with a wound specialist in Brisbane and developed a plan whilst staying in Rolleston."
Central Highlands Regional Council Deputy Mayor Gail Godwin-Smith said the Rolleston Health Clinic is a great example of how a community comes together to work proactively to fill what was a huge gap in the availability of local heath care services.
"Rolleston, while smaller in numbers is big in heart, and the dedicated committee with support of the broader community, council and other key stakeholders have gradually grown the in-care services which is a great outcome for the rural community," she said.
"Dr Louise Russell , who lives locally, is a wonderful role model and mentor to those involved in heath care along with those aspiring to a careers in medicine.
Cr Godwin-Smith said that currently the Rolleston State School has four past students enrolled at James Cook University, and they all are keen to give back to rural and remote communities.
"This year will see ongoing development of services at the clinic."
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