An aerial shot of the new St Stephen's Hospital under construction in Hervey Bay.
An aerial shot of the new St Stephen's Hospital under construction in Hervey Bay. JOHN WILSON

Palliative care plan a win-win deal for Maryborough

EDITORIAL: THERE are precious few palliative care beds on the Fraser Coast and demand will only rise as our population ages.

There are few dedicated palliative care centres across the state.

So a proposal to save the Maryborough St Stephen's Hospital and turn it into a specialist centre offers an unprecedented opportunity for the region. It's win-win, for St Stephen's, the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service, and most of all, our community.

It would not only be a comfort for patients and the families of those nearing the end of their lives, but would bolster the Fraser Coast's growing reputation as a medical hub for the Wide Bay and regional Queensland.

The palliative care services provided by our hospitals are, by reputation, excellent.

But it makes more sense for beds in the public hospital sector to be used for acute care, while offering palliative care patients the care they deserve in a facility that is built and staffed to their unique needs.

The Fraser Coast has already demonstrated a desire for a specialist palliative care service, in a petition that circulated last year.

Now is the time to make our voices heard - and the Fraser Coast Chronicle will back the project all the way.