Gerard O’Connell is willing to give up the chair of the Fraser Coast Health Focus Group but Chris Foley says his new task force has a different focus.
Gerard O’Connell is willing to give up the chair of the Fraser Coast Health Focus Group but Chris Foley says his new task force has a different focus.

Not the end of Health Focus Group

THE CHAIR of the Fraser Coast Health Focus Group confirmed the organisation’s wellbeing yesterday morning, following the emergence of a similar group in the region.

Gerard O’Connell said the focus group continued to be a well established, long standing and widely recognised advocate group for improved health services for the entire region.

On Thursday member for Maryborough Chris Foley announced the establishment of the Community Health Task Force, designed to “pursue urgently” an upgrade of Maryborough and regional health.

“He’s asked me if I’m interested in the initiative and I’ve told him I want him to bring his newfound vigour to the health focus group,” Mr O’Connell said.

“I told him I’m interested in promoting the health focus group.

“There is a real danger of driving a wedge between really good people.”

Mr O’Connell said he was happy to step away from the group’s chair if Mr Foley wanted to take a lead role in the health focus group.

Announcing the new task force, Mr Foley included Mr O’Connell in an initial line-up of health representatives.

“He was one of the first people I invited to bring the views of the focus group,” Mr Foley said.

“I don’t think two sets of groups working together should be seen as a bad thing.”

Mr Foley met with the Wide Bay health service boss Beth Norton yesterday and told her the task force’s first job was to apply the fine-tooth comb to the coming clinical audit of the region’s two hospitals.

Mr O’Connell issued a statement to people linked to the Fraser Coast Health Focus Group yesterday, reiterating its position as an apolitical group which is endorsed by the region’s four chambers of commerce.

“I believe it is essential that this group be the one valid and focused vehicle to initiate and promote good, sustainable and timely health concepts, particularly a service delivery plan and a clinical audit.”



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