4 July, 2023

Case to make big change to health system

CALLS for changes to the health system were made loud and clear, as a social gathering took place at the Morayfield-based Dickson Park on June 17.

Alison Barber, Wendy McCracken, Kevin Willis, Robyn Tremble, Angie Keegan and Kerry Tremble at the ‘Justice for Robert’ event at the Morayfield-based Dickson Park.
Alison Barber, Wendy McCracken, Kevin Willis, Robyn Tremble, Angie Keegan and Kerry Tremble at the ‘Justice for Robert’ event at the Morayfield-based Dickson Park.

The event, named ‘Justice for Robert’, came about following the tragic death of former Caboolture resident Robert Tremble a little over two years ago.

The then 48-year-old Robert, who battled dementia, died after being a patient at the Caboolture Hospital where he was allegedly assaulted by a hospital staff member.

An attendance of about 50 people at the ‘Justice for Robert’ event included representatives from the Queensland With Disability Network, and other people concerned about the Queensland health system.

Nurses’ Professional Association of Queensland (NPAQ) president Margaret Gilbert was the guest speaker, and she didn’t mince words about the health system in the state.

“We endeavour to work with each and every one in the community,” she said.

Ms Gilbert said Queensland Health had policies and procedures to prevent occurrences such as what happened to Mr Tremble, but that “behaviour that occurred in this instance does occur on occasions”.

“There has been a significant failing within Queensland Health,” Ms Gilbert said.

Ms Gilbert stressed that “nurses are not happy with the way health care is delivered within the system”.

“We are actually calling and lobbying for a change in the actual system,” she said.

“We are wanting to embrace a campaign, and that’s asking each and every one of you people here today within your communities to promote a go-local model of care.”

Ms Gilbert said individuals in the community knew what local health needs were required, whereas it was different in other areas such as Rockhampton, Brisbane, Townsville and Baralaba.

Ms Gilbert said health care tended to be more “disease-management” which cost huge amounts of taxpayer dollars.

“We’re getting to the stage where that is not a viable situation,” she said.

Ms Gilbert recommended that all community members speak to their MP (member of parliament) to identify what they needed.

“Instead of having a board that’s appointed by a political party, the board will be appointed by the individuals in the community, and also on that board we would have two registered nurses, to actually direct what nursing care is required,” she said.

“Unfortunately we see day after day that there aren’t enough nurses.”

Ms Gilbert said prevention was the key with health care, and “teaching people how to actually maintain their health so we don’t end up with huge numbers of chronic diseases which are by and large preventable”.

“It’s because of the system, not the person, that this has occurred,” she said.

“Each and every one of us can actually promote change.”

Federal Member for Longman, Terry Young, attended the event to pay his respects and to “get behind this cause”.

“To think that someone had been abused in a state hospital to me is just reprehensible,” he said.

“And I fear that sometimes we’re starting to live in a community where the rights of the perpetrators are greater than the rights of the victims and their families, and that’s just simply not right.

“Something needs to change.”

Mr Young said he was happy to do what he could to help make that change.

“I want justice for the people who can’t speak for themselves,” he said.


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