It is a double celebration for Rotary Lodge with not only its second anniversary but also the arrival of its 500th guest.
The Lodge, at 116 Woongarra Street, is managed and leased by the Bundaberg Health Services Foundation – a local charity which opened the home-away-from-home to patients and carers in March 2011.
The five-bedroom home offers low cost accommodation for carers, family members and those patients requiring ongoing medical treatment at the Bundaberg Hospital, the Mater and Friendlies Private Hospitals.
The home provides a way for families to remain close to their loved ones during a time of illness or injury when they are most in need of encouragement and support.
Opened with initial support from local Rotary Club’s who donated furniture, a fundraising campaign has been extremely well supported by the Bundaberg and in particular the North Burnett towns, community and service clubs and individuals – to ensure the doors remain open.
Foundation manager Maria Burnet said the Lodge was proof of what could be accomplished with the support and collaboration of local businesses, the community and local organisations in both Bundaberg and the North Burnett.
“This generosity has changed and improved the circumstances of so many people who are ill or injured, giving birth, undergoing life-saving treatment and those supporting their loved ones in hospital,’’ Ms Burnet said.
“We have often had 100% occupancy weeks and the Lodge has been well used by all the North Burnett communities and many families both intra and inter-state and overseas,” she said.
“The residents are our best advertisement with the testimonials speaking highly of the need for this facility and how it helps people during an extremely traumatic medical situation.”
With the doubling of the PTSS scheme in January this year from $30 to $60, patients who are eligible and approved prior to travelling to Bundaberg for medical treatment now stay free of charge. Those who are not eligible pay just $40 per person which is considerably less than a motel.
The Lodge is a very important part of the health infrastructure of Bundaberg Hospital and means people are within easy distance to loved ones on the wards.
The number of guests from each region has included:
Other parts of Queensland: 59
Agnes Water: 39
Other States/Countries: 16
Gin Gin: 13
Mt Perry: 8
These patients or their carers include maternity, paediatrics, oncology, surgical, rehabilitation, mental health, outpatients, and general medical. Guests have utilised services at all three hospitals – predominantly the Base Hospital, but also the Friendlies and the Mater hospitals.
The combination of donations from the Naming Rites Challenge and payments by both guests and Queensland Health Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme have kept the Lodge viable and the doors open during its two years of operation.
However for this to continue fundraising projects including the 2013 Naming Rites Challenge currently underway must continue to cover the lease and expenses involved in a project of this size.
WHO CAN USE THE LODGE
Patients who are eligible for the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme (PTSS) payment of $60, those living more than 50km from Bundaberg Hospital, will stay for free if approved prior to travel to Bundaberg.
Those patients or carers who do not receive the PTSS will be required to pay $40 per person.
For further information on the Lodge, to book or donate telephone the Foundation on 4150 2863.