Member for Traeger Robbie Katter is calling for the community to have its say on the need for improved hospital facilities in Charters Towers.
Mr Katter said the current hospital had not been significantly upgraded in many decades and a wind-back of services in recent years was of real concern to locals, particularly due to the region’s ageing population and low-socioeconomic levels.
He said Charters Towers was still waiting despite years of lobbying by the community and his predecessor, the KAP’s Shane Knuth (former Member for Dalrymple).
“The need for a better hospital is not a new trend or concept for the Towers community, this has been flagged for decades,” he said.
“In 2016 the THHS submitted a Preliminary Business Case on a new hospital to the Department of Health’s Investment Review Committee,” Mr Katter said.
“However no funding has been allocated to this project and now they have been told they will need to start again.
“This means plans for a new or alternatively an upgraded hospital in the city remain at a standstill, which is just not good enough.
“It is time for the community to take charge of this issue and I want to help make that possible by surveying public opinions and delivering the results to the desks of the decision-makers.”
Mr Katter said the survey results would be sent to the Minister for Health Dr Steven Miles, the Townsville Hospital and Health Service and the Charters Towers Community Advisory Network.
“Due to the continued delays and the overwhelming desire from the local community for progress on this, I have decided this survey is the way to go,” he said.
“This is your chance to have your say on the current Charters Towers Hospital, and also pitch your ideas for change.
“Most importantly, I would like to know what your preference is regarding whether the current hospital be re-furbished, or for a brand new hospital to be built on a greenfield site.
“Whilst keeping in mind our small town, rural setting, I would also like to know what you think should reasonably be changed or improved of in terms of services delivered at the Charters Towers
Hospital – in particular relating to maternity and dialysis services.
“Beyond the results of this survey and moving forward, there will be a lot of issues to weigh up that will inform the direction this matter takes.”
Copies of the hospital survey can be picked up from Mr Katter’s electorate office at Shop 2 of the Stock Exchange Arcade on Mosman Street.
Surveys can also be emailed, and you should contact [email protected] or 07 4787 2139 to request this.
Surveys can be completed anonymously, however they must be returned to Mr Katter’s office by 4.30pm on October 1, 2018 to be officially included.