[singlepic id=361 w=320 h=240 float=left] Innisfail, Tully and Cardwell locals will now have access to a specialist dietician for the first time with the appointment of Tony Burgos.

Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt welcomed the appointment of Mr Burgos, an internationally renowned dietician.

“This is another example of the Bligh Government delivering more services sooner, closer to home for Queenslanders.

“Mr Burgos has been appointed to work as the dedicated specialist across a range of projects.

“This includes developing a new nutrition education toolkit, a review of all menus at Innisfail, Tully and Cardwell and undertaking a local nutrition research project.

“He will have a particular focus on this region’s ageing population, as older people are at higher risk of developing malnutrition.

“For older people to maintain their health and quality of life diet plays a key role.

“If it’s not spotted early on, malnutrition can lead to debilitating problems such as muscle wasting, increased risk of falling, more infections, longer healing and recovery from illness, and longer stays in hospital.

“We really need action to prevent the risks that exist for older people in the wider community – and that is what Mr Burgos is here to help develop.”

Mr Pitt said Mr Burgos arrived in Innisfail after working in London and Wales, having previously done a stint in Melbourne.

In North East Wales the Moroccan-born Spaniard launched a project to help protect elderly people from the risk of malnourishment.

He led the Prevention of Malnutrition Project – a joint venture funded by the Welsh Assembly

Government, Flintshire Local Health Board and the Wrexham Health, Social Care and Well Being Partnership. In Wales 11 per cent of older adults above the age of 65 are malnourished.

“I really wanted to come back and work in Australia – but needed to be somewhere where my expertise would make a difference,” Mr Burgos said.

“It’s very different here from North East Wales – communities there are very isolated in many ways and it was a very challenging environment. This is where I really learned that it is absolutely critical to have a detailed understanding of and respect for the community you are delivering to.”

After completing the Wales pilot Tony worked in London as a senior dietician in the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.

“During this time I worked in paediatrics and adolescents, wound clinic, plastics and orthopaedics, ICU, HDU, cancer wards and across other patient areas,” he said.

Mr Burgos also has significant professional experience in Australia, where he worked in Melbourne.

“I also set up and lectured the Applied Nutrition core subject at RMIT University,” he said.