A POSITIVE response from the Health Minister is great news for Burdekin locals campaigning for a CT Scanner at the Ayr Hospital, but we won’t hear the sound of champagne corks popping . . . yet.
With up to 15 patients a week being transported to Townsville for CT scans outside business hours, I joined forces with local residents and the Community Advisory Network to advocate for the equipment; a campaign that is starting to bear fruit.
The Minister’s response advises that a Business Case is being prepared, which is a positive step forward.
However, it is another sentence in the Minister’s response that provides me with the most hope.
By acknowledging the importance of a CT scanner 24 hours a day, the Minister has indicated that we have proven a need for the scanner and that is always a difficult hurdle to clear.
It is an acknowledgement that would not have happened without community support.
We’re not across the finish line and, rather than celebrating, I’ll be focussing on ensuring community support is maintained.
The fact that we already have staff who can operate the scanner means we have a strong business case, but it still comes down to a decision by the Minister.
I’ve heard first-hand from patients and their families, as well as medical staff, about how important this is.
I’d like to thank Minister Fentiman for accepting the advocacy of those people and the wider community in the way in which it was intended.
When it comes to medical equipment and services, it’s rare to get a solution quickly.
We saw it with dialysis at Home Hill, so I’ll keep working and keep advocating on behalf of patients, their families and our local health staff.