Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett has slammed a decision to cut funding to a vital mobile diabetes screening service for Indigenous communities across the state, including in Bundaberg.
The Indigenous Diabetes Eyes and Screening (IDEAS) van travelled 200,000 kms annually right across Queensland to deliver critical services to identify eyesight issues and provide education, equipment and specialist support for indigenous Queenslanders at risk of diabetes.
Mr Bennett said he was appalled the service would be shut down in a matter of days.
“It’s a sad day when we have to stand up and beg for money to fund what should be a given right for Indigenous communities throughout the state and importantly right here in Bundaberg,” he said.
“It’s going to put our most vulnerable, minority groups in the state at risk, all because of bureaucracy.
“Cleary it was identified last year that this funding was most likely going to come to an end and that’s why the LNP committed $3 million to ensure this vital service continued across Queensland.
“Importantly, we also made a commitment to work with key stakeholders to secure ongoing and sustainable funding for the program moving forward well into the future.”
Mr Bennett said it should be the Palaszczuk government’s priority to ensure Indigenous people suffering from diabetes and other illnesses in the Bundaberg community and across regional Queensland were looked after in the prevention of blindness.
“We cannot deny these people what is their basic human right.”
Thursday, 8 February 2018