By Matt Owen
The long wait for after-hours primary medical care for Bribie Island and surrounding residents will soon be over.
From January 2021, residents will not have to leave the Island to access medical care due to a new three-year trial of after-hours primary care.
The Australian Government is investing $500,000 for the trial.
As one of the populations with the oldest average age in Australia this announcement is well received. Health is a massive local issue with the current 20km drive to the Caboolture Hospital far from ideal.
Unfortunately, this is a journey that this Journalist has recently undertaken. Instead of waiting around for an ambulance I jumped in the car and drove to Caboolture – a very stressful situation and to this day I’m still not sure if I made the right choice. It is hard to make the decision – call the ambos and wait or jump in the car? Health experts will tell you to call the ambulance under certain circumstances but how long can an ambulance take to arrive? How do you know when you should call 000? It isn’t easy in the heat of the moment.
It is anticipated that this announcement will take that decision out of our hands or at least make it easier. Also, you would hope it will be quicker and easier to access care compared to the process at the Caboolture emergency department.
As a regular commuter along Bribie Island Road I notice the number of ambulances taking patients to the Caboolture Hospital. With a population around 20,000 I guess this is to be expected but it does seem to be a lot. This 3 year trial can only be a good thing and it is a step in the right direction. Who knows what might happen after the 3 years?
“For years, residents on the island have been calling for better access to medical services and I am delighted to announce this trial program,” Member for Longman Terry Young said.
“Currently, Bribie Island locals don’t have an established after-hours health care service available through their GPs or medical deputising arrangements.
“With this investment, patients won’t have to travel 20km to Caboolture Hospital for care outside normal office hours but will have access to a GP right here on Bribie Island.”
“State LNP candidate for Pumicestone Fiona Gaske has been advocating strongly on behalf of Bribie Island residents for this service including organising meetings with local stakeholders. Her hard work on this issue cannot be underestimated.”
The local provider will be determined through a tender process. This publication will provide updates as more details become available.