Fraser health system in mix for PM

TWENTY minutes. That’s all the time Gerard O’Connell, Fraser Coast councillor and chairman of the Fraser Coast Health Focus Group, wants with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd when he visits the Fraser Coast tomorrow.

Mr Rudd will visit Hervey Bay hospital and will take part in a forum focusing on rural health.

Mr O’Connell said that the Fraser Coast Health Focus Group didn’t just want to discuss the problems about the health system on the Fraser Coast – it also wanted to discuss solutions and offer a community perspective on health in the region.

The focus group includes community leaders, doctors and business people from the Fraser Coast.

“We would like to invite the prime minister to spend time discussing the problems with us,” Mr O’Connell said.

Mr O’Connell said the focus group had witnessed the deterioration of health services on the Fraser Coast and, while he admitted it probably was not possible to have two major hospitals in Maryborough and Hervey Bay at this time, it was imperative that the two hospitals worked together more closely to complement one another and better serve the region.

He said the focus group was apolitical and interested in working with both sides of politics to make improvements to the health system.

An improved accident and emergency unit at the Maryborough hospital should also be something to strive for.

“It would be a great opportunity to discuss the health services in this area and the fact that people are being put on waiting lists to go on waiting lists.

“As a focus group what we are offering is leadership and solutions.”



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