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Julia Creek MPHS Update
Image Caption: Julia Creek Hospital
Julia Creek MPHS Update
Following on from the temporary downgrade of the Julia Creek Multipurpose Health Service (MPHHS) in November 2020 from a Level 2 Facility to a Level 1 Facility, there have been some positive developments regarding recruitment initiatives.
Originally downgraded due to the services inability to secure nursing staff to deliver inpatient services, ongoing recruitment activities have been prioritised by North West Hospital and Health Service (NWHHS) in a move towards reinstating the service to Level 2.
NWHHS CE Dr Karen Murphy said the temporary downgrade has been extended to 30 June 2021, to allow for the finalisation of recruitment activities and to build permanency of staff at the service and sustainability of the service model.
“There is extensive work was being done by the North West Hospital NWHHS to ensure recruitment activities remain a priority in order to restore the Julia Creek MPHS to a Level 2 facility,” Dr Murphy said.
“We have seen an increased number of applicants, and combined with travel restrictions beginning to ease, and COVID-19 vaccinations rolling out, we expect to soon be in a better position to reinstate Level 2 activities at Julia Creek MPHS – we certainly remain optimistic.”
Dr Murphy said the NWHHS had received positive support from the community and stakeholders who were committed to addressing the staffing issues, which were prevalent across remote and rural services.
“Representatives of the McKinlay Shire Council, the NWHHS, the Western Queensland Primary Health Network, Health Workforce Queensland, James Cook University Department of Health, and Office of Rural and Remote Health are jointly committed to develop short and medium terms solutions that will redress the current workforce issues which resulted in the downgrade of the Julia Creek MPHS,” Dr Murphy said.
“Together our priorities are to enable the resumption of the aged care beds; and enable sustainable access to primary health care services that meets the needs of the community, now and into the future.”
For the duration of the temporary downgrade, the hospital has access to a doctor 24/7 in Cloncurry, and via Telehealth to Mount Isa. Nursing staff are available for on-call 24/7 for level one emergency services, with and planned outpatient service Monday to Friday during normal business hours. All emergency, acute and critical care services remain unchanged.
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