North West Hospital and Health Service has unveiled its newly built family rooms at the Mount Isa Hospital during Naidoc week celebrations.
Formally opened on Thursday, the family rooms are a culturally appropriate space where Indigenous patients and their families to meet, rest or engage with specialist hospital staff situated near the Emergency Department.
Christine Mann, Executive Manager of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health said the facility was a spacious place close to the hospital for use by families.
"We have a lot of sorry business around here and regrettably we are outgrowing the hospital, so this place is spacious enough to accommodate families," Ms Mann said.
"This is a place where they can come and have a cup of tea and have family meetings."
Doing the acknowledgment of country, Kerry Major said when Mount Isa first had hospital facilities in the 1940s, Aboriginal people were segregated inside the system and faced "invisible borders".
"They had to abide by the rules of the curfew so if they were visiting family they had to wait until the morning," she said.
Ms Major said there used to be a kiosk and tree where her mob congregated in support of their families.
"We then shifted to the healing tree in front of the building but because of environmental issues the healing tree is no longer healthy enough.
"We've now got this place of peace and tranquility."
NWHHS board chair Paul Woodhouse said being in hospital was difficult for Indigenous people with families and he hoped the new facility will suit the purpose.
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