134 new 'mental health beds'
AFTER a summer of devastating floods, both the Federal and Queensland governments are making mental health a top priority for Central Queenslanders.
Federal Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon announced 134 new “mental health beds” would be created for CQ, while on a visit to Rockhampton's Mater Hospital yesterday.
Queensland Health Minister Geoff Wilson and Member for Capricornia Kirsten Livermore were with Ms Roxon for the announcement of the joint Federal and State government initiative.
They toured the Mater Hospital, where 20 of the 134 beds are allocated for a Community Care Unit in addition to Rockhampton's mental health services.
Mr Wilson said the unit would help flood victims.
Ms Roxon said the beds would come from a $75 million mental health investment from the Federal Government's 2011 and 2012 budget, to be announced next week.
She also announced a boost to the Mater's facilities, with three new operating theatres and 12 new patient and family accommodation units.
An additional $33 million is also to be provided to Queensland Health for regional acute, sub-acute and extended mental health services.
Ms Livermore said: “It really does cement Rockhampton as a major medical hub in our region.”