The death has occurred of one of the North’s most recognised and capable health practitioners and administrators.
Dr Patrick O’Neill had a stellar medical career in major hospitals and in some of the more remote parts of the world.
His prowess and practice of high standards of medicine saw him serve as a medico in Nigeria, other parts of Africa, Freeport in Indonesia and other regions before he was appointed Medical Superintendent of Mareeba Hospital.
Dr O’Neill then worked on establishing an integrated team that oversaw the development and extension of services at Mareeba Hospital through the COAG agreement and then the Tablelands Health District.
He established a formidable network of local health practitioners and Mareeba Hospital and worked towards the development of what is now the established Dimbulah Hospital.
A transfer and promotion to Cairns Hospital resulted in efficiencies and deliveries of improved services that covered the entire Far North from Innisfail to the Torres Straits.
Dr O’Neill was also a noted lecturer and mentor in medical services and practices and often spread his vast knowledge through lectures at JCU and other medical training facilities across the world.
He was in his early 60s and had suffered severe illness for some time, and had a fatal heart attack on Saturday morning.
Dr O’Neill is survived by his wife Judith and two sons.