Colin Boyce, Member for Callide, met with community health leaders in Biloela yesterday.
Dr Richard Tan, long time GP with over 50 years serving the Biloela community was happy to discuss the health needs for the region. The need for routine CT scans to be carried out in Biloela was one of the issues raised.
‘With the amount of time that the Biloela Ambulance spends travelling to Rockhampton and Gladstone for routine CT scans, it would be beneficial to the community and patients to investigate the potential for having this in Biloela,” Colin said.
Figures received by Colin from the Queensland Health Minister show that the number of hospital patients who are transported to Rockhampton and Gladstone Hospitals are more than one per day, with 46 transfers on average per month.
“These figures do not include the number of private patients who also travel our roads to seek routine scans in Rockhampton and Gladstone.
“We also need to consider the paramedics, hospital staff and driver of the ambulance, and the ramping at the Rockhampton Hospital when they arrive. This means that Biloela is basically down an ambulance and at least 2 staff members for a full day, every day,” Colin added.
Sandra Corfield, CEO CQ Rural Division of General Practice, noted that this is a Queensland-wide rural health problem where patients must travel to larger centres for treatment.
“Better services need to be provided in our rural and regional hospitals. Over 300 kilometres is the regular requirement for travel for many our patients’ basic needs, and CT scan equipment is a routine, initial investigation.
“Travelling to Rockhampton and Gladstone adds to the figures for those larger centres and fails to reflect the real needs for our communities,” Sandra said. “This is a really good bipartisan opportunity for Federal, State and Local Governments to work with the community to request CT scanning equipment to be based at the Biloela Hospital.
Colin added, “CQHHS says that Biloela doesn’t have enough need for their own CT unit due to the way these numbers are reported. How many private people travel to Rockhampton or Gladstone during the week to have a CT scan? The reported figures don’t include them! We need real figures to make real decisions.
“With ambulance ramping reaching 56% at Rockhampton last year, we can’t afford for our hard-working paramedics and our ambulance to be sitting in Rocky or Gladstone waiting for routine CT scans. The benefits to patients and our communities, as well as taking the pressure off the health system in the larger hospitals should be plenty of incentive to Queensland Health to make this happen.”
Caption: Pictured at Biloela Hospital are (from front, clockwise) Dr Richard Tan, Dr GB Singh, David Crisafulli, Leader of the Opposition, Colin Boyce MP, Member for Callide, Bryson Head, and Sandra Pickering, CEO CQ Rural Div of General Practice.