Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

No Date Set for Reopening of Doonan Hospice; 'Significant Changes' Flagged to Make Facility Sustainable

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

No Date Set for Reopening of Doonan Hospice; 'Significant Changes' Flagged to Make Facility Sustainable

Article excerpt

Byline: Michele Sternberg

SUNSHINE Hospice at Doonan was operating under "an unsustainable business model" and can't reopen without significant changes which could include becoming registered as a private hospital, admits board chairman Dr Frank Lewins.

Dr Lewins said the hospice, formerly known as Katie Rose Cottage, would reopen, however, no date can be announced.

"We will reopen and, when we do, it will be permanent."

Dr Lewins spoke to the Daily to "set the record straight".

Last week volunteers at the five hospice op shops were threatening to go on strike due to uncertainty over the future of the hospice.

The op shops are the major revenue source for the hospice, raising around $750,000 every year.

However, Dr Lewins said that still left the hospice with a $300,000-400,000 operating budget deficit.

"We have really dedicated volunteers ... their heart is in the right place and we couldn't operate without them.

"All the money we are making through the op shops and at fundraising events like our monthly sausage sizzle at Bunnings is going straight into the bank for when the hospice reopens.

"That money is not being used for any other purpose."

Dr Lewins said he would like everyone involved with the hospice to be "on the same page".

"I would like to see the disenchantment that seems to exist to be resolved as quickly as possible and I want everyone on the same page.

"I know they are concerned and I understand their frustrations but I'm in the same boat; I'm a volunteer too.

"It hasn't been easy dealing with all the various stakeholders and our dealings with politicians ... we are told we are getting funding per bed night and suddenly there's a change of government.

"If anyone has any concerns about the board, I would like them to speak to me or another board member but, ultimately, we have been truthful. …

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