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VITAL HEALTH EUQUIPMENT NEEDED AT TULLY

9/July/2021

The State Government needs to step up and provide essential health equipment, such as a CT scanner and dialysis machine, to Tully Hospital. 

At present, patients are being forced to travel a total of an hour and a half, from Tully to Innisfail, for treatment, with the government deeming the area unworthy of access to critical medical equipment. 

State Member for Hill Shane Knuth questioned the Health Minister in Parliament recently and requested the installation of a dialysis chair at Tully Hospital, but was told there was not a demand for it. 

The Minister responded with “While acknowledging the Tully residents who require dialysis, I am advised that, at present, there is not currently the demand in Tully to safely provide an in-centre satellite dialysis service, given the training requirements for dialysis nurses.” 

Mr Knuth said there was currently eight patients in Tully that required dialysis who, while very ill, had to travel to receive treatment, which was not good enough. 

That was not including the many patients who require a CT scan, which the Tully hospital has been requesting for some time.

“There is outrage with the Minister’s response. Every Queenslander has the right to critical health care in their own backyard,” Mr Knuth said. 

“The response that Tully does not warrant a dialysis chair is insulting.”

Mr Knuth stated that once again smaller towns must fight for the right to have basic care and services such as dialysis and CT scans in their community. 

“The decisions made by the government should be assessed on the need rather than the cost on a balance sheet. Every Queenslander has a right to access critical health services, regardless of where a person lives,” he said. 

“This is the perfect example of the government not delivering services because they deem the cost is not worth the benefit to patients in Tully and surrounding areas. 

“It would be a win, win, if dialysis services were added to Tully hospital as it would relieve pressure on the major hospitals, roads, and services, whilst giving people access to better health closer to their homes.” 

Tully Friends of the Hospital Foundation Treasurer, Christine Boric, said they had raised $14,000 for equipment that they were waiting for approval to buy, and they had another $18,000 put aside waiting to identify something else to spend it on. 

“Those who need a dialysis are not well and they are being forced to travel two to three times a week for treatment. If we had a machine here, they would not have to travel,” Mrs Boric advised. 

“Tully Hospital services a big district including Cardwell, El Arish, Mission Beach, and all of the Tully region. 

“I think it is very poor planning of the government not to have already installed a dialysis chair here.”

“It is a full day travel for these people. When you are unwell, a full day away is not ideal.”  

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