RECOVERY PLAN: $15m rehab centre for region if Labor wins
Bundaberg has been promised a new adult alcohol and other drug (AOD) residential rehabilitation and treatment facility if Labor win the upcoming Queensland Election.
The investment is part of a $51 million program to deliver three new AOD rehabilitation facilities across Queensland.
Making the announcement in Bundaberg today Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said there was a need for more AOD treatment services in the region.
"This new AOD Withdrawal Management and Rehabilitation Service will provide a suite of treatment services for vulnerable people experiencing problematic substance use and complex needs in the Wide Bay region," he said.
"The facility will include 28 beds and will also offer other treatment and support services including day programs, intensive case management services and additional AOD services to meet demand."
Labor Candidate for Bundaberg Tom Smith welcomed the announcement adding this service would give Wide Bay residents greater access to the health care they need closer to home.
"Alcohol and drug use is prevalent in Wide Bay, particularly in the Bundaberg region," Mr Smith said.
"A dedicated specialist adult AOD service for the region will meet demand for withdrawal management and rehab services that are prevalent in the community.
"The new AOD facility will include eight withdrawal management beds and 20 rehabilitation beds.
"A dedicated AOD service in our community will also reduce pressure and demand for these services at our busy hospital.
"The complete suite of treatment services to be offered at the new facility will be established through consultation and development of evidence-informed, co-designed and multi-agency models across NGO and Wide Bay HHS services."
Mr Smith said this new service would provide clinical treatment and support services for people with severe substance use issues, including diagnosed addiction.
"It will support some of the most vulnerable individuals who often have very complex health concerns and for whom treatment and support has not been effective previously," he said.
"This investment will ensure we continue to meet the healthcare needs of the growing and diverse Wide Bay community and also support vital construction jobs.
"The $15 million for the new AOD Withdrawal Management and Rehabilitation Service will support 43 FTE local construction jobs over the life of the project."
If elected, Mr Miles said this funding would be made readily available to the HHS.
"And then it will be a question of just how fast we could get it done," he said.
"We'll have to identify a site, we'll put together the plans and identify NGO partners to help us deliver those services.
"They tend to be from the tender process onwards, opening about 18 months, so we hope to be able to get this up and running within a couple of years."
He said this announcement was in addition to the Palaszczuk Government's commitments to build AOD residential rehabilitation and treatment facilities in Ipswich and Cairns, and the facility currently being delivered in Rockhampton.
"Labor's investment of $51 million to deliver drug rehabilitation facilities in Bundaberg, Ipswich and Cairns is an important part of our Economic Recovery Plan, supporting 147 local construction jobs," he said
The Deputy Premier said only a Labor Government would continue to invest in health care for all Queenslanders, no matter where they live.
"Since coming to government in 2015, we've hired 90 more doctors, 230 more nurses and midwives, 33 more health professionals and 37 more paramedics in the Wide Bay region," Mr Miles said.
"We have rebuilt the health services and frontline staff after the LNP cut them.
"When the LNP were last in Government and Deb Frecklington was Assistant Treasurer, they sacked 345 staff from hospitals across the Wide Bay region, including 120 nurses.
"Queenslanders can't risk an LNP Government.
"Only the Palaszczuk Government will continue to deliver world-class health care in Wide Bay."