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  • Dale Last

Last maintains CT focus

Neither a new Premier nor a new year have diverted Member for Burdekin, Dale Last’s attention away from much-needed medical facilities and services in the Burdekin.

Thousands of signatures and a campaign that ran for several months saw the state’s Health Minister recognise the importance of the equipment which would mean as many as 15 patients a week would no longer need to transferred to Townsville for CT scans outside business hours.

“The response from the Minister was positive but if the Minister thinks we will now sit and wait then she is sadly mistaken,” Mr Last said.  “This is not the first time we have seen this issue raise its head,” Mr Last said.  “We were told that a Business Case was being prepared as the next step and our community deserves an update.”

“I said in October that I would keep working on this issue until the machine is in place and patients are receiving their scans in Ayr.  I also said I will work cooperatively with the Minister as long as we saw continual progress and I will honour both of those commitments for as long as it takes.”

With forecasts of significant rain in coming days, Mr Last said the wet season brought with it yet another reason for the project to be given the green light.

“While we have seen improvements in some areas of the road network that are closed by flooding it’s almost impossible to flood proof the Bruce Highway,” he said.  “When the highway is shut the only option to access CT scans for many patients is via a helicopter transfer.”

“In addition to ensuring 24-7 access to scans all year round, the installation of a CT Scanner at the Ayr Hospital would mean that, in times of emergency, we are more self-sufficient.  It also reduces demand on the rescue helicopter to allow it to focus more on the emergency response.”

“Every time I talk to people about this project another reason it needs to happen is identified.  I am confident that the business case will support the project and, if it does, the decision to get the project started comes down to political will.”

“My preference is that the business case is completed and that funding for the building and equipment is included in the budget in June.  Our community deserves access to medical services and facilities that ensure the best outcome and it really shouldn’t take an election to ensure that those services and facilities are on offer.”

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