The Bligh Government today released a draft health service plan to meet the future health care needs of the Cairns region

Locals have been asked to comment on the draft Cairns and Hinterland Health Service District Health Service Plan 2012–2026.

Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the draft health service plan would ensure future health services met the changing needs of a growing population.

“We’ve already consulted extensively with local residents and health workers in order to develop this plan,” he said.

“Now we’re looking for feedback from the broader community about the proposals in this health service plan.

“We’re committed to ensuring Cairns locals can access the health care they need close to home now and in the future.”

Mr Pitt said the draft health service plan contained a proposal for a new health precinct at Edmonton.

“The proposed facility will provide a day surgery unit, a minor injuries clinic, two operating theatres and an emergency treatment area,” he said.

“Rehabilitation, renal and dental services will also be provided at the new facility, along with short stay and same day beds as well as outpatient services, medical imaging, a rehabilitation gymnasium and a helipad.

“All the core clinical areas of the Edmonton Health Precinct will be built to high cyclone specifications with

flexible accommodation spaces, secure water, power and communications supplies, as well as storage.

“On a day-to-day basis, the health precinct will focus on early intervention and high quality integrated care in the community.

The operating theatres, same day beds and emergency treatment spaces will provide a minor injuries clinic, short stay surgical centre and outpatient clinic supporting the district to reduce surgical and procedure waiting lists.

“This clinic would also serve as a second base for patients in the event Cairns Base Hospital needs to be evacuated.”

Member for Cairns Desley Boyle said this was clear evidence of the Bligh Government’s commitment to planning for the future of health care in this important and growing region.

“Having this planning underway will give locals and staff the certainty of knowing that in the coming years new health services will be delivered right on their doorstep,” she said.

“Along with provisions for this new precinct at Edmonton, the health service plan also makes it clear that increasing the capacity of services in places like Innisfail, for example, is vital.

“It’s recognition of the strong growth we are seeing in the area south of Cairns and the need to plan for the future of this important region.”

Member for Barron River Steve Wettenhall said the Government was delivering on its promises.

“We went to the last election with a policy to redevelop the existing Cairns Base Hospital site and to acquire land for a health facility in the southern suburbs of Cairns,” he said.

“This is what the community told us they wanted, and what we are delivering.

“The $454 million redevelopment of Cairns Base Hospital is providing an additional 168 beds and has already delivered a new cardiac catheterisation lab, a new emergency department, the Liz Plummer Cancer Centre, a new MRI suite and the Cairns North Health Facility.

“Redeveloping on this site means the Cairns community will receive a bigger and better hospital sooner.”

Member for Cook, Jason O’Brien said the health service plan also focused on increasing innovation when it came to delivering quality health care.

“We will expand initiatives such as Hospital in the Home and Hospital in the Nursing Home to reduce the demand for inpatient beds,” he said.

“We are focused on doing things differently – finding better ways of delivering quality care outside the hospital setting.”

The draft health service plan is available online via:

Written feedback on the draft Cairns and Hinterland Health Service District Health Service Plan 2012–2026 can be provided to the address below

Fax: 4226 6599
Executive Services and Planning
Cairns Base Hospital
PO Box 902