The past twenty years have given me the opportunities to participate in the GOC space as a Board Member with QR, Ergon Energy and Central Queensland Hospital and Health Boards. At a local level, I have had 35 years as a local Councillor and Chair of many NGOs including the Emerald Neighbourhood Centre, CTM Links, Access Accommodation and Central Highlands Healthcare Ltd (CHH Ltd).
CHH Ltd is a Social Enterprise corporation which was established in 2015. This enterprise was established to create a functioning medical centre focused on provision of patient centred care but diverging from the doctor or company owned model to a social enterprise structure. The driver for this has been our inability to attract doctors to the rural regions, but by establishing a medical training hub partnering with young doctors wanting to do rural generalist training, we have been able to maintain a general practice with in excess of 10 doctors in training, nurses expanding and growing their skills and allied health workers joining or visiting our practice. Patient contacts in 2015 were 35,000. Last year, 2019, the number exceeded 55,000.
The success of CHH Ltd has led our community to look at expanding the Social Enterprise model into the many community service areas that are missing in our region. To facilitate this Central Highlands Community Services (CHCS) has been established and this enterprise will have both a delivery and training arm similar to the CHH Ltd model. Community transport, creating an aged friendly community, supporting those with disabilities into employment and offering alternative learning and training opportunities are CHCS's delivery focus. Being a part of expanding and growing Social Enterprise thinking throughout the region is the key training focus for CHCS and a partnership with QSEC will be critical for our moving this task forward.