Crucial health investment in the North West region will be celebrated today, with the official opening of the refurbished Julia Creek Multi-Purpose Health Centre.
The $8.4 million overall funding for the works, delivered in stages, was first secured in 2016 in the previous hung parliament.
State KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter said the since 2016, the centre had undergone an extensive renovation and now had a modern emergency room, upgraded aged-care wing, new air-conditioning and an outpatients, pharmacy, pathology and other staff amenities.
The bush hospital is the only facility of its kind within a 300km radius and serves a permanent population of around 1000 people.
Initially, an initial cash injection of $5.5 million had been promised to Mr Katter for the hospital as part of 2016-17 Queensland Budget.
However further investment was needed to ensure McKinlay residents had access to the best health services possible, and the State Government committed further funds in 2018.
Mr Katter said the Julia Creek Hospital upgrade was an example of what could be achieved when parties genuinely committed to the bush held the balance of power in the State of Federal parliaments.
“From an initial request for $2.7 million to improve the aged care facilities in Julia Creek, to a $5.5 million commitment in 2016, then finally the overall $8 million improvements we are opening
today, this has been a real win for the bush and I am very pleased to be able to have been a part of it,” he said.
“I would like to congratulate the McKinlay community, and particularly the McKinlay Shire Council and the staff of the North West Hospital and Health Service and the Julia Creek Hospital, for all their lobbying efforts over the years.
“The improvements to this rural hospital have and will go a long way to improving the health outcomes and overall quality of life for those in this area, and moreover the liveability that is so important when you get out to these remote parts.
“We deserve health facilities in the bush that are comparable to what those on the coast have access to, and today’s opening shows what can be done for our outback communities when there is a rural-focused balance of power situation.”
Mr Katter said there were a number of other centres in his electorate that urgently required upgrades to their local health facilities, namely Charters Towers, Hughenden and Cloncurry.