Five new rural health facilities announced by Palaszczuk Government

Clare Adcock
By Clare Adcock
Updated April 26 2022 - 11:59pm, first published April 22 2022 - 6:00am
The five communities involved in the tenders will be Blackwater, Morven, St George, Charleville, and Camooweal. Photo: Lucy Kinbacher

The Palaszczuk Government has announced an investment of $104 million to build and upgrade improved health care facilities in five locations across rural Queensland.

The five facilities involved in the tenders will be the Blackwater Multipurpose Health Service, Morven Primary Health Care Centre, St George Community and Allied Health Building, Charleville Healthwise Building and Camooweal Primary Health Care Centre.

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The projects are expected to be completed by early 2023.

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said that the upgrades are an example of the state government's commitment to ensuring equality in regards to health facilities, regardless of location.

"This much-needed investment will help us continue delivering quality, contemporary health services in each of these communities," Minister D'Ath said.

"The existing health facilities in these towns have served their communities well but they are ageing and in need of replacement.

"The new facilities will be built to last and incorporate more contemporary clinical spaces and the latest medical technologies.

"Construction on the five projects will support 199 jobs and provide an important boost to local economies.

"Our record $22.2 billion health budget includes more than $1.3 billion in capital spending to create the new health facilities of the future."

Chair of the Morven Community Advisory Network Cathy Burey said the group has been fighting for better health services in their town for the better part of a decade.

"We have been pushing for a new clinic for over five years due to the age of the current building, the lack of privacy and confidentiality it offers and the degree of difficulty in removing a patient and transporting them if they needed to be stretchered out," she said.

"Morven is very passionate about our clinic and the invaluable support it provides our small, rural community and we fought hard to keep it when Queensland Health threatened it with closure about eight years ago.

"We sent a deputation to the then Health Minister Laurence Springborg and were successful in having it reinstated with not one but two, full time nurses working here and on call in emergency, seven days a week.

"We are very fortunate to have the service we have as Morven has a large elderly population, a growing number of younger children and families and a rural community that is predominantly involved in dangerous agricultural and animal husbandry practices daily.

"We are of course excited about the new clinic and the advantages it will bring to our nursing staff and community and look forward to its completion."

Morven local Louise Winten said herself and other members of the Morven Progress Association were excited about their new health facility finally becoming a reality.

"Any investment or new infrastructure in our town is very exciting," she said.

"With the pub, the Pick A Box motel and the information centre, we've got all of these new buildings in town and it's great to have some investment.

"It has been talked about for a long time."

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Ms Winten said that the new Morven Primary Health Care Centre building is set to be built on the same site as the previous centre, next to the recent addition of a new nurses accommodation.

The Camooweal Primary Health Centre will receive upgrades to both hospital services and outreach services.

Senior Media Advisor for the Office of Yvette D'Ath, Martin Philip confirmed that funding for the Morven Primary Health Care Centre would include investments into nurse-led clinics, a 24/7 ambulance service, and Telehealth services.

Immunisation clinics, home and community care programs, Indigenous health, and outreach services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, dietetics and nutrition, and mental health are also amongst the services at Morven that will receive funding from the new investment.

Blackwater will see upgrades to acute inpatient medical services, palliative care, emergency radiography services, and long stay and respite residential care, while Charleville and St George are looking to improve their clinical and general support areas, non-acute facilities, and build a rehabilitation gym and physiotherapy treatment space.

The Camooweal Primary Health Centre will receive upgrades to their emergency services, as well as the Royal Flying Doctor Service program, mobile women's health, hearing health trachoma service and aged care assessment.

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Clare Adcock

Clare Adcock

Roma Journalist - Queensland Country Life

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