A community-lead petition to establish the Caloundra Urgent Care Centre 24 hours a day, has today come to a close with more than 3,500 signatures in support of a medical facility that provides fulltime care. State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle officially accepted the petition from Principal Petitioner Rob Corbett and will lodge it in Parliament next week.
Mr McArdle said that there are a number of reasons why the community feels so strongly about Caloundra having access to a local, 24-hour Urgent Care Centre but overwhelmingly Caloundra wants a health service available which meets its needs now and into the future.
“This year the Sunshine Coast University Hospital opened and it became our primary health care facility dealing with the ill or injured, but we need to be smarter in how we treat patients across the Coast.” Mr McArdle said.
“The Aura Development means an additional 1,800 people per year moving into the area and that is on top of the thousands of residents that will call Palmview home. Of course not all pf these people will use Caloundra Hospital but they will put pressure on our health services.” Mr McArdle said
Mr Corbett said that during the past two months of petitioning, “It was very clear that the operating hours of the Urgent Care Centre is something that plays on the mind of many Caloundra Residents.”
“The uptake of the petition has been strong, though not surprising as this is something that impacts Caloundra residents’ health and wellbeing, regardless of age or personal circumstances.” Mr Corbett said
“People want to know that they have accessible health care options at any hour of the day. The community wants to do the right thing. SCUH will deal with the urgent ED cases but there is no reason non-life threating cases can’t be dealt with at Caloundra – yet the 9am – 9pm hours are ridiculous.” Mr Corbett said.
“The Health Minister at Estimates confirmed that ‘---our emergency departments remain under pressure because of growth in demand---’ particularly with regards to the most ill and injured.” Mr McArdle stated.
“He continues, ‘---last financial year the number of people presenting with category 1 conditions—they are people who are critically ill—increased by 10.4 per cent across Queensland, and category 2 patients, who are generally very seriously ill, increased by 7.1 per cent.”
“The Minister is correct. The resources and skill levels required are extremely high when patients are classed as either Category 1 or Category 2. That is why the Caloundra Urgent Care Clinic being open 24/7 is critical for Caloundra and regional residents.” Mr McArdle said.
“Caloundra Urgent Care Centre should also be utilised in a way that compliments SCUH and takes pressure off its Emergency Department. By having a 24 hour Urgent Care facility available we can treat less serious cases, day and night, and the SCUH ED can focus on Category 1 and 2 patients and deal with walk-ins.” Mr McArdle said.
“The petition will now be considered by Health Minister Cameron Dick.” Mr McArdle concluded.