Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fight for a healthy Cairns Region.

During the past few weeks we have seen several programs axed and the re-direction of funds by the CanDo team in an effort to reduce Government spending as per the election promise made. While I applaud their intention, the methodology is not workable.

Removing programs which create healthy populations will simply move the spending requirements to other sectors such as Police, Emergency Services and the mental and physical health departments of our hospitals and outpatient services. Almost all programs axed within the health sector are proven ones which are most effective as preventative services, thereby halting the progress of health related issues and leading to long term health and well-being.

This would fairly obviously then have the flow on effect of alleviating the current health crisis, placing less pressure on our hospitals. The instances of poor mental and physical health on friends and relatives is also well documented and prevention would also place less stress on those supporting the person in question which would further alleviate pressure on our health services. This all makes perfect sense.

Why then would the State Government choose to remove Sisters Inside, the Healthy Communities service, distance itself from the National Disability Insurance Scheme and remove Frontline services from our local hospital The Cairns Base?

The cost of each of these varies but the cost of NOT doing these programs or facilitating the services will in future years be substantially more than any savings made today.

I am tired of sitting idly by while these programs fall by the wayside. Expressing disappointment online and via conversations with friends. It's time to get pro-active.

Those who have chosen to make these decisions were elected by this population but our input does not stop with an election. They are OUR representatives. They work for us. That means we are perfectly entitled to let them know when we are unhappy with a decision made, or with a direction taken. It does not mean that we are entitled to attack them as people.

It is the choices and the policy that is up for scrutiny. Only when it concerns us directly is the personality of the politician under attack. In this instance, only the policy and commitments made affect the population.

I urge any of you who are also concerned with the future health of our State and our community to join me and write to Gavin King, Member for Cairns via any of the following:

Email cairns@parliament.qld.gov.au
Phone 07 4051 2868
Address Office 1 "McLeod South", 78-84 Spence Street, Cairns Qld 4870

 For those living in Barron River, Michael Trout can be contacted via these details:

Office 07 4038 2800
Mobile 0488 227 766
Email Barron.River@parliament.qld.gov.au
Address PO Box 1014, Smithfield, Queensland, 4878

And for Curtis Pitt, Member for Mulgrave, the details are as follows:

Phone 4056 3175
Fax 4056 3340
Email mulgrave@parliament.qld.gov.au
Office T J Ryan Building, 94-96 Norman Street, Gordonvale QLD 4865
Postal Address PO Box 314 Gordonvale QLD 4865

It's worth noting that Curtis Pitt is supportive of all programs so it may be more beneficial to write instead to Gavin King as the Cairns Base Hospital and Healthy Communities are both within his electorate. That will be entirely up to you however.

I also ask that you forward a copy of your letter to The Cairns Post as well so that the media are equally aware of the impact of these decisions on our community and the fact that many amongst us would like them to be re-instated.

 Together we can make a difference. If I didn't believe that, politics would hold no interest for me and I would never write another blog post and we both know that will never happen.

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