1800 people support call for South Burnett paediatrician
THE South Burnett Under 4s Network has secured 1800 signatures supporting the petition for a full-time paediatrician in the South Burnett.
Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington congratulated the group and said she was proud to officially table the petition in Parliament and support the call for the critical service.
"There is a desperate need for paediatric services in the South Burnett and I have been pleased to work with the South Burnett Under 4s Network to highlight this need and support the petition,” Mrs Frecklington said.
"I would like to congratulate Peta Clarkson who was the principal petitioner. The group worked hard to secure so many signatures and this will really help demonstrate the need in our region.
"As the petition says, South Burnett children are missing out on vital paediatric services due to lengthy wait times and the need to travel to Toowoomba or Brisbane for an appointment. It's unacceptable and our kids deserve better.”
Mrs Frecklington said her previous requests to the Labor Health Minister for a paediatrician had been rejected and there was an "obvious disregard for regional communities such as ours”.
"We have children in our region waiting up to two years for an appointment,” she said.
"For a growing child, this can mean the difference between a good outcome or a lifetime of struggle.
"For example, children needing a diagnosis for autism can wait several years. This impacts their education as schools cannot implement plans or access extra resources until a specialist paediatric diagnosis is available.”
Peta Clarkson said the group started the petition because they were concerned about the children within the South Burnett who were not being seen by a specialist paediatrician.
"For medical issues, behavioural concerns, medication and re-medication issues, children must have timely access to a paediatrician so they can have quality educational programs, early intervention programs and NDIS support,” Ms Clarkson said.
"Children in our region are being disadvantaged due to their rural location.
"Our aim is to ensure that equity of access, so families don't have to travel long distances for specialist services.”