New body brings hopes for health

WHILE the people of Warwick fear for the future of their health department, one organisation has shed a ray of hope on the issue.

A new Australian Government organisation has hit the region and vowed to try and help ease the issues surrounding the health crisis.

Darling Downs South West Queensland Medicare Local chair Dr Patricia Stuart said improvements in primary health care are the top priority.

"The vision for the organisation is to deliver improvements in health outcomes for (the region's) individuals, families and communities through coordinated primary health care," Dr Stuart said.

Representatives throughout Warwick and the Southern Downs will liaise with councils, health organisations and community groups to create the best possible plans to tackle local health care needs and drive improvements within the health sector.

"This would be achieved by understanding the needs of our communities, supporting primary health care providers to empower people to improve their health and advocating for better health policy and practices locally, regionally and nationally," Dr Stuart said.

The organisation's CEO Andrew Harvey said the new body was committed to reducing hospital admissions by making other means of consultation more accessible.

"A key focus of the organisation over the next two years would be ensuring there is a better use and coordination of local primary health care resources, so more services can be delivered," Mr Harvey said.

Darling Downs Health Service District's acting CEO Dr Peter Bristow said he looked forward to working with the body and said the strengthening of bonds within the health sector could only be beneficial.

"I am confident that stronger partnerships between public hospitals and health services with primary health care organisations like (the Medicare Local) will take us along the journey to create a more streamlined approach to healthcare for patients and clients," Dr Bristow said.

"I think it is important to note that the Medicare Local is composed of a number of groups and I am pleased that Warwick is represented on its board. This will be especially important given current issues about the general practice workforce in Warwick."


What they do

Link local GPs and other health professionals to make it easier for patients to access services.

Plan and support local after hours GP services.

Identify where local communities are missing out on services and address those gaps.

Ensure all services are of a high quality.


What this hopefully means for Warwick:

More doctors

Shorter waiting times

Quality consultations

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