2 August 2023

New child development program for Cape York and the Torres Strait

| Chisa Hasegawa
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A NEW $3.6 million child development program will give families direct access to a host of specialist health services across the Torres Strait, Cape York and Northern Peninsula Area.

The team, including speech pathologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists, social workers and dieticians, will travel directly to patients at their local primary healthcare centres across the region.

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said that the program “will make a huge difference for children and their families who have previously had to travel long distances to access these services”.

The service team will partner with the local community to provide specialist assessments, diagnosis, and support for children with complex medical conditions, including ongoing therapy and support.

“Access to early developmental therapies and care can provide lifelong benefits to health, education, and wellbeing,” said Shannon Fentiman, the Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services.

The program was launched in response to last year’s Local Area Needs Assessment project which was undertaken to better understand community needs.

Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service Executive Director of Allied Health Amanda Wilson says that the project “identified that maternal and child health and child development was the absolute top priority”.

The development program team will work closely with the recently expanded maternal and child health team as well as the existing Torres and Cape Paediatrician Service, which Member for Cook Cynthia Lui says will “ensure the best health outcomes for children in the region”.

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