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South Burnett Business News

There's No Shame In Asking For Help
Parentline, an initiative of BoysTown, the Queensland Government and the Northern Territory Government, has worked with more than 150,000 parents and carers and for the past 15 years. They would like to share the following information with South Burnett parents as the scenario is a common one:

By Wendy Protheroe
Parentline General Manager

I met a couple of young boys recently who were skipping school for the day and getting up to no good in town.

It turns out they skipped school because they couldn't hear what the teacher was saying. They kept getting in trouble for not listening and for not being able to do the work.

Both their mothers knew the boys had been getting into trouble but neither realised it was because they couldn't hear the teacher.

They took the boys to the doctor for a hearing test.

It turns out they had both had chronic ear infections throughout their childhood.

The doctor told them ear infections that kept coming back could cause serious problems including deafness.

Chronic ear problems can affect their ability to learn, can impact their memory and cause kids to stop paying attention to teachers and parents.

These mums wanted the best for their children and they knew school would give them opportunities to get good jobs.

They decided to get a group of mums together and invited the doctor to come and speak to them about the impacts of ear infections so they could prevent it happening in future.

The doctor told them how important it was for the family to wash their hands regularly, how cigarette smoke can damage children's ears and eating lots of fruit and vegetables helped the immune system.

These mums were glad they had been invited to listen to the doctor and learn there were simple things they could do to help their kids.

Parentline counsellors provide a friendly, confidential support system.

There is no shame in asking for advice.

Call Parentline on 1300-30-1300 from 8:00am to 1:00 pm, seven days a week, for the cost of a local call.
Radiation Oncologists Begin Running South Burnett
Clinics In Kingaroy
14th July 2011: South Burnett cancer patients will soon be saved many long trips to Toowoomba or the Sunshine Coast now that specialist radiation oncologists have begun running clinics in Kingaroy.

Associate Professor Dr Jared Martin and Dr Eric Khoo (pictured) from Toowoomba's Radiation Oncology Queensland are planning to visit Kingaroy on a monthly basis. 'We're busy introducing ourselves to the local GPs in the South Burnett at the moment," Dr Khoo says, "and we hope our new clinics will meet an unfilled need for local cancer patients."

Many South Burnett patients have been treated at ROQ ever since the cancer centre opened in 2007. But while feedback has been very positive, by offering outreach clinics in Kingaroy many patients will be saved the long trip to Toowoomba, Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast to meet radiation oncologists to discuss their management.

"If patients do decide to receive radiotherapy it will still be necessary to travel to Toowoomba for this," Dr Martin said. "Other cancer specialists such as medical oncologists who deliver chemotherapy for cancer currently don't perform clinics in the South Burnett. But we're hopeful that having the opportunity to discuss what radiotherapy may have to offer with patients close to home will make the whole cancer journey just a little easier."

ROQ's Toowoomba facility offers state-of-the-art radiotherapy treatments and free car parking at the moment. But the expected opening of free accommodation run by the Cancer Council of Queensland within the next 3 months will make treatment in Toowoomba easier than ever for South Burnett patients in the near future.

For more information, see or discuss with your doctor whether an appointment with Dr Martin or Dr Khoo might be appropriate. Appointments can be made by phoning (07) 4614-5855.
Queensland Health Shake-Up Moves South Burnett
Health Services To Toowoomba
17th June 2011: The State Government announced today that it's decided to put an axe through the bloated Queensland Health bureaucracy. And the South Burnett may benefit from it.

Health Minister Geoff Wilson (pictured - photo courtesy ABC News) said today that the Bligh Government will be introducing laws to break up Queensland Health, reform health service management and create Local Health and Hospitals Networks from next year.

As part of the process, the Darling Downs West Moreton Health Service District which currently administers the South Burnett will be split up and the provision of health services and facilities in the Darling Downs and South Burnett will be locally managed from 1 July 2011.

A new health service district and offices will be set up in Toowoomba in the next few weeks, the Minister said.

"This is the biggest shake-up of health services for a generation. Queensland Health is being broken up and decisions about health services in future will be made by locals, for locals in the local area," Mr Wilson said.

You can read the Minister's press release by clicking here and get a map of the proposed new health district boundaries by clicking here.
Truss Says Means Tests On Private Health Insurance Will Overtax Region's Hospitals
9th June 2011: A plan to means test private health insurance rebates will hurt more than 53,000 South Burnett and Wide Bay residents and put even more stress on the public heath system according to Mermber for Wide Bay Warren Truss.

"Almost 40,000 adults living in Wide Bay hold private health insurance and 53,275 people - including children - are covered under those policies," Mr Truss said.

"Each one of those policy holders will be hurt under the Labor-Greens plan to means test private health insurance rebates if it's allowed to proceed. Means testing the rebate means that premiums will rise directly by up to 40% for some."

Mr Truss said maintaining the private health insurance rebate is important to relieve pressure on the public hospital system.

"The rebate helps to reduce public hospital admissions. Any person who drops their private health insurance cover then relies on the public health system, adding to the long waiting lists which already exist. Deloitte's estimate that the Government will save $1.9 billion by its changes to the rebates but the cost to the public health system will rise by $3.8 billion."

It's estimated that 5.6 million Australians with health cover earned less than $50,000 a year and around one million of those had incomes of less than $24,000.

"Many people in the South Burnett and Wide Bay regions would fit into that income bracket, including pensioners and self funded retirees who go without other things so they can keep their health insurance," Mr Truss said.

Read more about the Federal Government's plan on the Sydney Morning Herald
New Health Advocacy Toolkit Helps To Empower
Queensland Health Consumers
2nd June 2011: A new Health Advocacy framework, toolkit and brochure was released by Queensland Health yesterday to help consumers using the State's health care services.

The Health Advocacy Framework provides structures and support to assist individuals, their families, their carers (and also organisations) to advocate for better health outcomes.

It also supports the delivery of more effective, responsive health care and improved health policies - two things that have long been needed in rural parts of the State.

The Advocacy Toolkit, meanwhile, is a great little booklet designed to guide a person and help empower them to receive the best health care possible. It's in an easy-to-read language and a small size that you could easily slip into a bag or satchel.

And the "Getting the healthcare you need" brochure contains general tips and checklists for doctors visits - before, during and after - as well as general tips on meeting health needs and your rights as a consumer.

They're available online at Queensland Health (look on the right hand side of the page under "What's New"). An audio version of these publications will also be available by next week for downloading.

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