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5 December, 2020

Hospital group calls for Ministerial action

The Save Mareeba Hospital Action Group is calling on the State Health Minister to ensure that there are dialysis services at the Mareeba Hospital after information obtained by The Express discovered that there are dialysis machines in Mossman, Cooktown, Innisfail, Atherton, Yarrabah, Bamaga, Weipa, Edmonton, Smithfield, Thursday Island, and Cairns as well as two machines at Lotus Glen.

By Phil Brandel

The Save Mareeba Hospital Action Group at a recent meeting at the Mareeba heritage centre where they discussed the lack of dialysis support at the Mareeba Hospital.


The Save Mareeba Hospital Action Group is calling on the new State Health Minister Yvette D'Ath to take action to ensure that there are dialysis services at the Mareeba Hospital after information obtained by The Express discovered that there are dialysis machines in Mossman, Cooktown, Innisfail, Atherton, Yarrabah, Bamaga, Weipa, Edmonton, Smithfield, Thursday Island, and Cairns as well as two machines at Lotus Glen.

Spokesperson for the group Ross Cardillo claims that to date there have been no real improvements in health services at Mareeba Hospital despite continued growth in the shire. 

"The fact remains that by their own admission, the Palaszczuk State Labor government had confirmed in recent times that because of continued growth, Mareeba is now firmly established as the largest community in the Far North outside of Cairns," Mr Cardillo said.

"In spite of this confirmed growth, The Mareeba Hospital which was built in 1980 once catered for well over 90 beds is now rated at only 52 beds.”

Mr Cardillo claimed that the Palaszczuk Government and successive Health Ministers have abandoned health services, especially those in the southern sections of Cook electorate.

"There has been a total Health Department and State Government ignorance of the identified need for dialysis services to be established in Mareeba, and precisely nothing has happened to meet that identified need,” he said.

"This means that at least 36 trips have to be made to other centres outside Mareeba each and every week so that dialysis patients can get the basic service they so desperately require.

According to figures supplied by the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHHS), there are currently 12 patients requiring in-hospital dialysis with another 13 people receiving dialysis at home

Dr Murty Mantha Director of Renal Medicine at CHHHS said that at the moment there were not enough patients in the Mareeba area to warrant a dialysis service at the Mareeba Hospital.

“Currently, the number of patients on hospital-based dialysis in the Mareeba area does not support the volume required for a dedicated dialysis service at Mareeba Hospital to be established.,” he said

“We need to concentrate our services on the Tablelands in one location, in order to ensure a safe and sustainable service."

A CHHHS spokesperson also confirmed that there were two dialysis machines doing nothing at Lotus Glen correction centre. “The two machines in Lotus Glen are currently not in operation as there are no dialysis patients. The Lotus Glen dialysis service is provided by Lotus Glen clinical staff under the governance of Queensland Health. The CHHHS Nephrologist provides medical support for these patients."

Mr Cardillo said. "We look forward to meeting with the State's new Health Minister Yvette D'Ath with a view to obtaining a more positive response than in the past in order to service the health requirements of the growing Mareeba Shire and the Cook electorate as a whole," Mr Cardillo said.

The Save the Mareeba Hospital Action group had reached out to the minister but at the time of deadline, no response had been received.


 


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