22 April 2024

Health services resume in Wujal Wujal

| Chisa Hasegawa
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New treatment/emergency room

The new treatment and emergency room set up by TCHHS nurses Karen Morgan and Lisa Callaghan, and director of nursing Vince Connellan. Photo: Supplied.

As displaced Wujal Wujal residents begin to return home, a new temporary clinic is nearing completion and already offering partial health services.

In a boost for the community’s healthcare capacity, local Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service (TCHHS) staff, including nurses, health workers, operational officers, and administration staff, have returned to work.

The full resumption of services will commence in the next fortnight, when GP services, specialist clinics, ultrasound services and outreach clinics will become available.

Wujal Wujal clinic director of nursing Vince Connellan said staff were looking forward to welcoming back both old and new clients.

“All staff and I are extremely excited to be opening our new clinic and returning to work in Wujal Wujal,” he said.

“Everyone has been working extremely hard to achieve the return of health services to Wujal Wujal and surrounding communities.

“These communities can now feel safe to return home, and also feel confident that services are finally back close to home where they belong.”

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The temporary clinic will remain in place while options for a future permanent clinic to replace the flood-damaged one are developed.

Minister for Health, Mental Health, and Ambulance Services Shannon Fentiman said community recovery and rebuilding remained a priority.

“We are absolutely committed to making sure the Wujal Wujal community can access high-quality healthcare following the flooding event late last year,” she said.

“I’m thrilled for residents who no longer need to travel to access the healthcare they need as health services start back up.”

The new clinic will not have capacity for an onsite morgue, so culturally and clinically safe transfers will occur until burials can take place locally.

Medical imaging and dental services will also remain unavailable and continue to be provided from Cooktown due to the size of the temporary clinic.

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