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Access to Specialists is Key in Regional Health Care

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25 January 2019

Access to Specialists is Key in Regional Health Care

Goondiwindi’s Meditrans service has successfully completed its 12-month trial period and is proving to be more popular than ever.

Meditrans’ success means that many local patients are now able to attend the specialist care they might not otherwise have received. But Goondiwindi Regional Council’s Co-ordinator for Centre and Community Care Sue Salisbury was keen to emphasise that many specialist services are available to our community right here in the region - and without the drive time.

Ms Salisbury co-ordinates the Meditrans service along with numerous other healthcare services in the region. Meditrans has grown significantly since Ms Salisbury took on the role and December 2018 was the busiest month on record.

‘More than twenty patients required transport either one-way or return to Toowoomba in that month,’ Ms Salisbury said. ‘Patient feedback has been so positive about the service, with many choosing to utilise the service numerous times.’

The increase in users means the service continues to be reliant on volunteers from the community to keep the wheels rolling.

Ms Salisbury emphasised just how important accessibility to medical services is in a regional area such as ours – especially when patients become too unwell to drive or do not have family available to take them to appointments in other centres.

‘We are very fortunate here to have numerous specialist services that regularly visit Goondiwindi, or who can be accessed by telephone or teleconference,’ she said.

‘We absolutely do not want these patients or our elderly residents relocating to Toowoomba or anywhere else because of lack of access to available medical services in the region.’

Some of the visiting services accessible to our local community include:

  • Vital Health Darling Downs offers podiatry and speech pathology, with occupational therapy coming soon. These services can be accessed through Medicare GP referral, PHN, Work Cover, NDIS, or privately.
  • NewAccess is a free, confidential program developed by Beyond Blue to assist people struggling with day-to-day pressures. A specially trained and experienced coach will offer support to help people get back on track. Appointments can occur face-to-face or over the phone.
  • Lifeline is a free service that visits Goondiwindi once a month to offer information, support or counselling to individuals, families or friends of people affected by gambling. Face to face or telephone counselling is available.
  • Carers QLD Australia represents the diverse needs and interests of carers. Carers QLD advocates for carer rights and to improve services and support and develop programs and policies that assist carers to perform their caring role.

The Meditrans service is generously funded by The Darling Downs and West Moreton Primary Health Network, The Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service, and Tait Toyota Goondiwindi. These organisations will continue to fund the service into 2019.

Please contact Sue Salisbury on 0436 668 763 if you have any enquiries regarding health services, if you require assistance with transport to access medical appointments, or if you are able tovolunteer a little of your time to drive for the Meditrans service.

Regional health care

 

Published: January 25th 2019