BILL OF HEALTH: State Health Minister Cameron Dick visited Cunnamulla on Wednesday. Pictured looking at new as-yet unreleased plans for an upgrade to the Cunnamulla Primary Health clinic.
BILL OF HEALTH: State Health Minister Cameron Dick visited Cunnamulla on Wednesday. Pictured looking at new as-yet unreleased plans for an upgrade to the Cunnamulla Primary Health clinic. Andrew Messenger

Could Cunnamulla be a model town?

THE HOPE project funded to fight ice addiction should be considered as a model for the rest of Queensland, according to the State Minister for Health.

Cameron Dick, the state Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, said the town’s year-old collaboration between health services.

“The idea of in smaller communities everyone working in a collaborative way is a powerful thing and putting aside their own particular sectional interests or their own particular focus for a broader focus is an important message that should be told to everyone really across the state,” he said.

Cunnamulla Primary Health Care centre has become a one-stop shop for most preventative health care providers in the community under the plan, including the Country Practice GP, HHS workers and local indigenous healthcare providers.

It’s not over yet; the minister was also shown plans to further upgrade the healthcare building to concentrate all those providers into a single building with one door.

The plans are as of yet secret, prior to public consultation.

Mr Dick said that proper analysis had not yet been done on the project, and that all communities are different, but expressed contentment in the success of the approach so far.

He was in town to announce a major upgrade to the Cunnamulla Hospital, and the area’s first locally-based mental health care, a clinician.

“It’s certainly an improvement on the model we had previously, we had a visiting service previously,” he said.

“‘Wherever we can in Queensland we’re looking to... deliver more services in a local context. To have someone based at Cunna- mulla I think is important.”

MP for Warrego Ann Leahy told the Western Times the town may have received a full hospital replacement, rather than a simple upgrade, under the previous Newman Government.

But the Minister said that promise was not financially viable.

“The previous promise of the former government was based on asset sales – that’s the basis of all these promises they made to the community,” Mr Dick said.

“Over time I’m sure there will be an opportunity for Cunnamulla to be renovated significantly.

“But at this time, we’re doing our bit to invest invest there to improve the hospital.”

The new hospital project will cost around $3 million, will upgrade laundry, kitchen, improve security and disabled access.


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