OLDER residents in Weipa and Bamaga who need higher levels of care will now be able to stay connected with their communities, says Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch.
Mr Entsch has announced today that a new aged care service will be established in Bamaga through the Australian Government’s Multi-Purpose Services (MPS) Program.
“This is fantastic news for families in Bamaga,” he said. “The new MPS will include six aged care beds and will receive funding of more than $426,000.
“Unfortunately we’ve had situations in the past where elders have had to leave Bamaga and travel to Cairns if they needed to receive aged care support in a residential setting. It’s something I’ve highlighted before, along with the need for a dialysis service in Bamaga.
“These new beds are expected to be operational within the 2017-18 financial year and I look forward to visiting with new residents then.”
The establishment of this service was a recommendation of the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Aged Care Master Plan, which sets out the vision for the delivery of aged care services across the region through to 2034.
“The Master Plan largely came about as a result of my lobbying the Minister at the time about the run-down state of the Star of the Sea Elders Village on Thursday Island,” Mr Entsch said.
“With today’s announcement and the $24m refurbishment of the Star of the Sea now underway – including the construction of much-needed staff accommodation – we’re seeing meaningful benefits for our region.”
The Master Plan also identified the need to work towards integrated aged care delivery that meets the community’s needs and preferences in the delivery of aged care, and recognises the complexities of the system and the environment in which it operates.
Also on Cape York, Queensland Health will receive funding for four additional High Care places at Weipa Hospital, worth an additional $282,882 a year and bringing the total number of High, Low and Home Care places to 14.
“As the Weipa community grows and matures, having an extra four aged care places on hand will be a great relief for local residents,” Mr Entsch said.
“It’s important that the aged care needs of older Australians are met irrespective of where they live and the expanded aged care services in the Western Cape means we can better care for our older community members in familiar surroundings.”
The MPS Program is a jointly funded Australian and state and territory government initiative providing integrated health and aged care services to small rural, regional and remote communities.
Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, MP, said the two announcements will make a real and positive difference to the lives of senior residents and their families.
“It’s important that older people with increasing or complex care needs are able to stay close to loved ones and where they have established community ties,” Minister Wyatt said.