Early pri­or­i­ties for WBML

‘Tak­ing the pulse’ and im­prov­ing ac­cess

Central and North Burnett Times - - ADVERTISING FEATURE - WIDE BAY MEDICARE LOCAL -

WHILE only six months old, Wide Bay Medi­care Lo­cal is al­ready work­ing hard on some key projects set to pos­i­tively trans­form the health­care land­scape of the re­gion.

Th­ese projects in­clude launch­ing the most com­pre­hen­sive health needs as­sess­ment ever done into the re­gion’s health and well-be­ing, and im­prov­ing ac­cess to af­ter-hours med­i­cal care.

CEO Shane Daw­son said the WBML would be “tak­ing the pulse” of health care in the Wide Bay, by start­ing a healthy con­ver­sa­tion with lo­cal res­i­dents on the is­sues that are im­por­tant to them.

“Early in the new year, we will be ex­am­in­ing the health­care needs of the com­mu­nity by con­sult­ing widely with res­i­dents and health­care providers,” Mr Daw­son said.

“We will also be look­ing at their per­cep­tions of their own health and well-be­ing and that of their fam­ily and com­mu­nity.

“Pub­lic fo­rums and our Tak­ing the Pulse sur­vey will give lo­cal res­i­dents a greater say on health care and iden­tify any ser­vice gaps.

“Their feed­back will in­form de­ci­sion-mak­ing on health­care plan­ning for the re­gion.

“It will also en­cour­age res­i­dents to take own­er­ship over their own health and that of their com­mu­nity.

“This will be a ma­jor step in em­pow­er­ing the com­mu­nity and health­care pro­fes­sion­als to de­cide which health­care is­sues are im­por­tant to them.”

The WBML is also com­mit­ted to im­prov­ing ac­cess to nonur­gent med­i­cal care out­side of nor­mal hours.

Af­ter-hours med­i­cal care is cur­rently pro­vided by a mix of gen­eral prac­ti­tion­ers, hospi­tal emer­gency de­part­ments and the 13health call cen­tre.

“We will con­duct a needs as­sess­ment to guide us in the devel­op­ment of a plan to build upon ex­ist­ing face-to-face af­ter-hours health care in the re­gion,” Mr Daw­son said.

“We will be work­ing in part­ner­ship with all stake­hold­ers in the lo­cal health­care sec­tor to make the best use of avail­able lo­cal health in­fra­struc­ture aswe set about im­prov­ing ac­cess to th­ese ser­vices.”

The Wide Bay Medi­care Lo­cal’s af­ter-hours pro­gram will aim to en­sure con­ti­nu­ity of care for pa­tients across dif­fer­ent health­care set­tings and providers.

Lo­cal health ser­vice di­rec­to­ries are avail­able at your health­wide­bay.org.au and nhsd.com.au.

Res­i­dents need­ing in­for­ma­tion on what af­ter-hours ser­vices are avail­able are ad­vised to con­tact their lo­cal fam­ily GP.

Early in the new year, we will be ex­am­in­ing the health­care needs by con­sult­ing widely with res­i­dents and health care providers. CEO Shane Daw­son

PHOTO: SCOT­TIE SIM­MONDS BUN051212WDE7

HEALTH CARE: Wide Bay Medi­care Lo­cal’s Kay­lene McShane.

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