Council cuts funding to community health service

FUTURE funding for the Discovery Coast Community Health Service is uncertain, after Gladstone Regional Council announced yesterday it would not continue its financial support for the service.

Councillor Maxine Brushe said the decision was "the only way forward".

"We have health services delivered across the region by Queensland Health and they need to step up to the plate here and replace this service," Cr Brushe said.

"This is a way forward for long-term sustainability for the Discovery Coast area."

However, Queensland Health informed The Observer that no funding would be provided to the service.

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett was positive about the move, stating: "I am 100% confident the service will continue."

He said funding was likely to come from the private sector.

"It will not be Queensland Health or council, but we will be able to have negotiations between now and the end of the financial year (regarding funding).

"There should be no apprehension that the quality services, not only that the Discovery Coast people deserve but they have come to accept, should and will continue."

From 2012 funding was provided by Wide Bay Medicare Local, a service that will be finalised on June 30 and replaced by the Primary Health Network.

Health service co-ordinator Cheryl Barrett said the facilities were essential to the region.

She said the nearest hospital to Agnes Water was a 260km round trip to Bundaberg or Gladstone.

What it offers:

  • Child health nurse
  • Community nursing
  • Community support
  • Counselling services
  • Diabetes education
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Family support
  • Health assessments
  • Legal advice
  • Needle syringe program
  • Occupational therapy
  • Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme
  • Podiatry
  • Seniors support
  • Women's health GP
  • Women's health clinic
  • Tax help program
  • Youth support