A shortage of drug and alcohol rehabilitation and treatment options is putting immense pressure on local services in Rockhampton, with the Turnbull Government failing to act on the crisis.
Drugs – in particular ice – continue to have a devastating impact on local communities. But overstretched services are under strain and can’t keep up with demand.
Federal Labor is visiting Rockhampton on Tuesday to speak to the local community, health experts and the rehabilitation provider about the impact of a shortage of rehabilitation and treatment services on the region’s ability to beat the ice epidemic.
There is only one residential rehabilitation provider in Rockhampton – the next service is more than three hours away. With only one residential rehabilitation bed per 10,000 people, Queensland has one of the worst ratios in the country.
Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King, Queensland Senator Murray Watt, Chair of the Labor’s Medicare Taskforce Sharon Claydon and Deputy Chair Dr Mike Freelander are travelling to the region to listen to the community’s concerns first-hand.
As well as speaking to drug treatment experts, the team will also visit a public dental clinic – bearing the brunt of a $300 million Turnbull cut to public dental – and will visit Rockhampton Hospital.
To close the health gap between our regions and our cities, we need targeted investment in the issues that matter. Unfortunately, the Turnbull Government has cut billions out of Medicare and hasn’t made health a priority.
Labor has a strong record of investing in Rockhampton’s health, with the last Labor Government investing $76 million towards the redevelopment of the Hospital and $67 million for the Central Integrated Regional Cancer Service.
Labor knows that Rockhampton and our regions deserve better than Turnbull’s neglect, so we are speaking to the people who know best – the community – to work on building a better health system for the future.