Health goals shared at Toc. fo­rum

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

On­go­ing is­sues of ru­ral and re­gional ac­cess to med­i­cal ser­vices en­joyed in cities was a key topic at the Mur­rumbidgee Lo­cal Health District’s sec­ond Lo­cal Health Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee Fo­rum for 2017.

Held in Tocumwal over two days last week, it was at­tended by 100 del­e­gates from Fin­ley, Jer­ilderie, Ber­ri­gan, Tocumwal, De­niliquin and other sur­round­ing dis­tricts.

Tocumwal LHAC chair Elaine Cox said it was an op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide up­dates on LHAC achieve­ments and projects, and dis­cuss im­por­tant health top­ics.

‘‘It was a re­ally good fo­rum for us to work on how the health district and lo­cal com­mit­tees can pro­vide high stan­dard med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties for their town,’’ Mrs Cox said.

‘‘Ob­vi­ously, we don’t have the same ac­cess as peo­ple liv­ing in the met­ro­pol­i­tan re­gions of Aus­tralia.

‘‘It’s im­por­tant that peo­ple re­alise all lo­cal health com­mit­tees are get­ting to­gether to help pro­mote bet­ter health ser­vices.

‘‘If, for ex­am­ple, one town has a re­ally suc­cess­ful health ser- vice, we dis­cuss why it’s suc­cess­ful and whether it can be im­ple­mented in other towns.’’

Wed­nes­day’s fo­rum ses­sions in­cluded hos­pi­tal op­er­a­tion in­for­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion on sui­cide pre­ven­tion meth­ods, be­fore a for­mal din­ner fea­tur­ing 2017 Aus­tralia’s Lo­cal Hero Vicki Jel­lie as guest speaker. Ms Jel­lie was in­stru­men­tal in de­vel­op­ment of a can­cer cen­tre in War­rnam­bool, a wish of her hus­band who died from the dis­ease.

On Thurs­day, the morn­ing dis­cus­sion was fo­cused on ‘Car­ing for vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple’.

‘‘Vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple can range from the elderly, Abo­rig­i­nal, men­tal health and aged,’’ Mrs Cox said.

‘‘In all med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties across the health district, we will have posters with the slo­gan ‘well­ness is our goal, ex­cel­lence is our pas­sion, peo­ple are our fu­ture’.

‘‘We need to make peo­ple aware that there are var­i­ous sup­port groups avail­able. It’s a ma­jor goal to get the word out to the com­mu­nity that there is sup­port avail­able.’’

Mrs Cox thanked the Tocumwal Hos­pi­tal Aux­il­iary for its help dur­ing the fo­rum, and for its fundrais­ing ef­forts through raf­fles.

The next fo­rum will be in April next year, with a lo­ca­tion yet to be de­ter­mined.

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