28 January 2024

Wujal Wujal races to restore health services

| Chisa Hasegawa
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Flooded clinic

Wujal Wujal was hit hard by Tropical Cyclone Jasper and subsequent flooding, leaving residents with no health clinic. Photo: Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service.

With clean water, sewerage services and a functioning clinic unavailable in Wujal Wujal, the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service (TCHHS) say they are doing everything they can to ensure residents are still getting the healthcare services they need.

In conjunction with the Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council, Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) and other state government agencies, and non-government health providers, TCHHS is attempting to restore health services to the devastated community as soon as possible.

TCHHS acting general manager south Jacob Walsh said healthcare providers were travelling to urgent patients and transporting non-urgent patients to Cooktown in the meantime.

“We have been in regular communication with the shire council and local residents about their needs,” Mr Walsh said.

“In partnership with QAS, we are ensuring all emergencies and urgent care needs are being responded to by a paramedic stationed within Wujal Wujal township.

“Any low acuity community residents needing to attend appointments or review at Cooktown Medical Centre are having transport arranged for them to access their services.”

A registered nurse and health worker are also performing home visits to community members in Ayton, Bloomfield and Degarra three days a week for chronic disease management, primary healthcare, and medication management.

“I’d like to thank all our health service staff who have been involved in the ongoing Wujal Wujal and surrounding area recovery effort for their support in ensuring community residents continue to have access to vital health services,” Mr Walsh said.

Damaged clinic

Healthcare providers in Wujal Wujal, Cooktown and Cairns are supporting residents as the local clinic restoration takes shape. Photo: Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service.

“From 30 January, doctors will be available at Cooktown Medical Centre on Tuesdays and Thursdays for all displaced Wujal Wujal residents in Cooktown, as well as residents of the Ayton, Bloomfield, Degarra [and] China Camp area,” Mr Walsh said.

“Displaced Wujal Wujal residents in Cairns are being supported by multiple external agencies including Centacare, Wuchopperen, Cape York Partnerships, Apunipima Cape York Health Council and Mookai Rosie.”

To restore the decimated Wujal Wujal clinic, TCHHS has partnered with QBuild to clean out the building and staff accommodation.

“We will continue to support the Wujal Wujal and surrounding communities, and listen to residents as they work to rebuild after the recent flooding,” Mr Walsh said.

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