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Torres and Cape HHS consumer advisory group expanded

4 July 2018

An important advisory group helping the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service improve consumer engagement and public accountability has been expanded.

Torres and Cape HHS Chief Executive Bev Hamerton said the Consumer Advisory Committee had grown from four members when first established in September last year to seven.

“The expanded committee now gives us consumer representation from throughout the various parts of our diverse region,’’ Ms Hamerton said.

“The creation of the committee last year was a significant step forward in closing the healthcare gap in our region, as it will help provide greater strategic direction on how we can better deliver quality outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.’’

“I’d like to thank the various members of the committee for their community mindedness in joining the group and helping our health service improve the delivery of our services,’’ she said

“The expansion of the committee from four to seven members also has allowed the group to elect a formal chair and deputy chair who will help take their activities forward,’’ she said.

New Torres and Cape HHS Consumer Advisory Committee Chair Robert Tamwoy is a resident of Umagico in the Northern Peninsula Area, while Deputy Chair Wally Shibasaki is from Thursday Island.

“I am interested in representing consumers because I have had a lot of dealings with Bamaga Hospital and the health system,’’ Mr Tamwoy said.

“My second son has asthma so I’ve spent many hours at the hospital with him.

“I am very committed to helping to improve the health system and helping improve services for Torres and Cape HHS consumers and patients.”

As a diabetic since 1990, Mr Shibasaki also has had extensive dealings with the health system.

“I still play basketball, touch and referee for rugby league,’’ he said.

“I want to be a role model for living well with diabetes and managing it through sport and exercise. That’s why I decided to join the advisory committee.”

One of the committee’s newest members, William Luthi, previously was on the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Consumer Advisory Group for six months before moving back home to Cooktown.

As a member of the Torres and Cape HHS advisory group now, and having recovered from a long illness, he is keen to contribute back to the community.

“I can relate to people who are facing illness,’’ Mr Luthi said.

“My life is so much better now thanks to the help I received in the health system.”

Ms Hamerton said she would like to congratulate Mr Tamwoy and Mr Shibasaki on their appointments and thank the expanded committee for their continuing feedback and advice to the health service.

She said the committee met quarterly in different parts of the region and already had provided some excellent feedback to the Torres and Cape HHS since it was established.

In mid-June, Mr Tamwoy and Mr Luthi represented the committee at the 2018 Health Consumers Queensland Forum in Brisbane, where they delivered a presentation on the theme of: Consumer Advisory Committee in rural and remote settings in Far North Queensland.

PHOTO CAPTION: The Torres and Cape HHS Health Consumer Advisory Committee at its most recent meeting in Weipa in late June – from left – Wendy Phineasa (Bamaga), Will Luthi (Cooktown), Robert Tamwoy (Umagico – Chair), Wally Shibasaki (Thursday Island – Deputy Chair), Lenore Casey (Hope Vale) and Lou Norgard (Cooktown). Not pictured is Alo Tapim (Thursday Island).

Last updated: 5 July 2018