Quality health care top priority in Cairns
THE quality of the region's health system has emerged as the main concern for readers of The Cairns Post.
Almost half of the respondents to the newspaper's State of the Far North survey ranked access to specialist medical services as being the issue they believed required the most urgent attention.
Facilities at Cairns Base Hospital were ranked third, behind the region's crime rate.
More than a third of respondents believed building a second hospital in Cairns was the most important health issue.
Cairns and Hinterland Hospital Service chief executive Julie Hartley-Jones said recent appointments of specialists would vastly improve the quality of health care in the region.
"We'll continue to increase our specialist services this year," MsHartley-Jones said.
Several specialists including a urologist, a second neurologist, a second plastic surgeon, a third cardiologist and a third gastroenterologist have been hired.
A full-time rheumatologist and a third infection-control specialist also have been recruited in recent months to bolster existing specialist numbers.
STATE of the Far North snapshot:
Top three issues affecting the Far North that require urgent attention:
1. 48.1% - specialist medical services
2. 47% - crime rate
3. 43.1% - Cairns Base Hospital facilities
(Out of 1071 respondents)
Top three most important health issues:
1. 35% - building an additional major hospital in Cairns
2. 23.7% - improved access to specialist services
3. 18.2% - upgrading existing regional hospitals
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