1 May 2024

Mookai Rosie unveils new clinic for Cape and Torres patients

| Cape York Weekly
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Mookai Family Health

Mookai Family Health offers culturally safe healthcare to Cape York patients who have travelled to Cairns. Photo Supplied.

More Cape York and Torres Strait patients travelling to Cairns will be able to access culturally safe healthcare with the opening of Mookai Rosie Bi-Bayan’s new clinic.

Mookai Family Health is the new home of the organisation’s medical service, which originally commenced out of its Edmonton accommodation site 18 months ago.

Mookai Rosie community communications and program development officer Samantha Schofield said demand for culturally safe care was always high.

“There’s always been a real shortage of culturally safe, medically supported accommodation for the many families that come down to receive healthcare,” Ms Schofield said.

With funding from the Queensland Government’s Growing Deadly Families program, the healthcare provider renovated and refurbished an under-utilised property it had held for over 20 years when the accommodation clinic service reached capacity.

“We got requests from people not staying at the accommodation, too, so there was an increased need that we couldn’t facilitate in the Edmonton facility,” Ms Schofield said.

“There’s a lot of history and memory in this space, and we’re trying to honour that with the clinic.”

With the separate location, Ms Schofield said they could make the service available to men for the first time.

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“One of the big things was that because the accommodation space needs to be as safe as possible, it was always for women and children only,” she said.

“The clinic rooms were situated right in the middle of the accommodation, so that needed to stay a safe space.

“Part of opening the clinic and separating those services was, yes, we could take ample more clients, but we could also open it up for the whole family.”

Chief executive officer Theresa Simpson said the increased staff and appointment availability allowed them to improve their services further by providing the time and space for patients to sit down and have a yarn.

“We do not provide 10-minute consults; our people really need to sit down and have a conversation so they can open up,” she said.

“Our meetings might be an hour, so we can get down to the root of our client’s health problems.”

Ms Schofield added that addressing as many issues as possible while patients were in Cairns was important.

“It’s never just one issue, and we’re not doing any service to the clients if they’re coming all the way down from the north and then only addressing one issue,” she said.

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