A new community-driven workforce solution for Wentworth was today launched by Federal Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton in conjunction with local health workers and community.
Minister Coulton, joined by Senator for New South Wales Perin Davey, said the new workforce solution will trial a collaborative health service to build high quality, sustainable health care for local patients.
“We recognise that a one-size-fits all approach to health care doesn’t meet the unique needs of small, rural communities and that’s why we’re funding new collaborative health care models which are developed and driven by local communities,” Minister Coulton said.
“We know that patients in Wentworth have faced difficulties in accessing health care and this community driven model is an important step in creating a viable local health workforce.
“I congratulate the people of Wentworth and stakeholders, including the Coomealla Aboriginal Service, for working together to get this model up and running.”
Minister Coulton said the trial will investigate if viable practices may be better achieved by having a group of GPs, nurses and allied health professionals deliver health services across the region.
Federal Member for Farrer, Sussan Ley said the Federal Government wants people living in Wentworth to benefit from continued access to essential health services as well as reduce the time it takes to travel for primary care.
“I know how important it is for the people of Wentworth to have sustainable local GP and health options in town, which will eventually make us less reliant on services on the NSW/Victorian border,” Ms Ley said.
“I want to acknowledge and commend the work of the Wentworth community in co-designing solutions to deliver continuity of care to patients and for progress addressing longstanding workforce challenges.”
Senator for New South Wales, Perin Davey said community was at the core of this approach and Government wants local communities to maximise their local health services, and workforce solutions that are tailored to meet the needs of their communities.
“Having now visited a number of these trial sites across NSW, I see the immense value they will deliver for their communities,” Senator Davey said.
“In addition, we want more health professionals to choose a career in the bush. The rollout of the new model is a good example of how we can improve the scope of practice for doctors and health professionals and provide rewarding lifestyle and career opportunities.”
NSW Rural Doctors Network CEO, Richard Colbran said there wasn’t a single model of care perfectly applicable to every remote and rural community.
“We are trialling a method that combines community development and health service planning methodology to respond to local need,” he said.
“A key enabler of success for this trial will be aligning community and health sector expectations and goals and building a local, team-based approach to workforce and service modelling.
“NSW Rural Doctors Network sees this Collaborative Care project as the start of a method that could hopefully be scaled-up to support similar sub-regional approaches in remote and rural areas across Australia. We look forward to starting work early in the new year.”
The Federal Government has invested $3.3 million in western and southern NSW communities to test new innovative primary care models.