Chambers to battle for health

A turbulent week during which the focus on our ailing health system intensified has ended on a positive note.

That’s the view of Gerard O’Connell, who chairs the Fraser Coast Health Focus Group, after the presidents of the region’s four chambers of commerce indicated they would be prepared to wade into the battle to improve the system on the Fraser Coast.

Chamber presidents Bill Gosewich from Burrum, Maryborough’s Lance Stone and Darryl Stewart from Tiaro told a meeting on Thursday night they would be willing to come onboard “as part of the cause”, subject to the support of their respective delegates.

Hervey Bay chamber president David Rees, who was not at the Maryborough meeting, had also indicated his support for the plan.

“We’re about getting a solution that works for us,” Mr O’Connell said yesterday.

Mr O’Connell is confident the concerted input of the chambers can make a genuine service delivery plan a reality and bring about a level of local management of Fraser Coast hospitals.

“In the past we have talked about a draft service delivery plan but nothing has ever happened.

“Now we are looking at a business plan for getting things done put together by business and community-minded people.”

He said the chamber presidents had put forward names of potential consultants for the project.

“If Kevin Rudd can back up his rhetoric, only a small part of his budget would be needed to help make this happen.

“We are showing him that we can come up with solutions.

“If Mr Rudd is committed to getting the health service right as he indicated when he was here, then hopefully he will embrace this plan, perhaps as a pilot.”

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