Resident Fay Steel no longer needs to travel to Brisbane with her husband John for urology appointments thanks to the return of a local public urology service.
Patients from the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service area can now access a clinic at Mater Private Hospital Bundaberg thanks to a partnership between the two organisations.
Previously, patients had to travel to Brisbane to access urology services.
It's meant a world of difference to Fay, who underwent a urological procedure earlier this month.
Her husband John said being able to have the treatment locally made the process so much easier.
“In the past we have had to travel to Brisbane by train, stay at a hotel, Fay would have her treatment and then we’d catch the train home,” he said.
“We’re getting a bit frail, so being able to access the services locally makes it much easier for both of us – we’re very much looking forward to future treatments being here in Bundaberg.”
Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board Chairperson Peta Jamieson said the initiative demonstrated the health service’s commitment to ensuring equity and access for all patients.
“It’s a real barrier for patients when they need to travel to access specialist services. That’s why we’re finding ways to offer quality specialist care closer to home,” she said.
“We’re thankful that Mater is a valuable partner that will be able to provide urology services locally in Bundaberg.
“Offering a service locally makes a real difference to patients and ensures they can receive the same care that they would receive if they lived in Brisbane.
“Securing a local urology service through working with the Mater is a great example of WBHHS acting on two of our strategic plan objectives of providing equity and access for all people in our region and fostering partnerships so we can better serve our community.”
Locals benefit from new urology service
Mater Private Hospital Bundaberg General Manager Catherine Hackney said 25 people have already benefitted from the agreement.
“This is an exciting collaboration to address a gap in services in Wide Bay and, in turn, improve the health and wellbeing of those in our community,” she said.
“It’s a great demonstration of how Mater can draw on its expertise across all of its campuses to deliver high-quality care to those who need it most.”
Ms Hackney said the partnership reflected Mater’s commitment to identify and address unmet needs in the communities it serves.
WBHHS Chief Executive Debbie Carroll said it was wonderful to work with Mater to bring a specialist urology service back to the Bundaberg community and looks forward to supporting many local patients.
“I know this is welcome news for the Bundaberg community, as it will make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of many locals who can access urology services locally,” she said.
“We have 300 patients from the Bundaberg area on the urology waiting list, so we know that this is an important issue and service enhancement for our community.
“Traveling to Brisbane for specialist care is disruptive to patients’ daily lives, takes them away from their support networks and, for some patients, can be physically difficult due to other medical conditions or mobility issues.
“Removing this barrier and bringing urology back to Bundaberg is a great win for our patients – it’s giving them the right care in the right place at the right time.”