Early priorities for WBML
‘Taking the pulse’ and improving access
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
HEALTH CARE: Wide Bay Medicare Local’s Kaylene McShane.