Biala Sexual Health Clinic will be a beneficiary of the Palaszczuk Government’s first Budget which will invest a record $14.2 billion in health.
Of that, $13.2 million will be allocated over four years to reinvigorate the ‘Biala’ clinic in Roma Street.
Another $5.3 million allocated to the sexual health strategy will be rolled out in partnership with community organisations and comprise of funding provided to the state’s primary HIV organisations – Queensland Positive people (QPP), the Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC), and HIV Foundation Queensland.
Funding of the Biala clinic was controversially cut by the Metro North Hospital Board in 2013 which led to the closure of the general sexual health clinic and a greatly reduced capacity for the HIV/AIDS clinic to operate in – a move that was widely slammed by the state’s HIV service providers and practitioners.
Regular QNews columnist and HIV specialist Dr Fiona Bisshop who was a fierce opponent of the clinic’s de-funding says she is pleased that the “extremely short-sighted” decision to de-fund Biala has been corrected.
“This clinic not only managed several hundred HIV patients, but offered a free service to the general public,” Dr Bisshop said.
“Unfortunately, not everyone feels comfortable seeing a GP for management of sexually transmitted infections, and not all GPs are experienced in managing more complex sexual health problems.”
“Biala played a vital role in offering services to travellers, people requiring anonymity, and people in need of free treatment. They say that you can measure the health of a city by the sexual health of its inhabitants – let’s hope Brisbane can once again measure up to the high standards we have had in the past!”