NSW new future of regional health top of agenda

The future of regional health care and improved access to services were top of the agenda when Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor hosted the first face-to-face meeting of the new Regional Health Ministerial Advisory Panel.

Mrs Taylor said the 15-member panel will play an integral role in the NSW Government’s work to improve health outcomes for people across regional and rural NSW and are already off to a great start.

“It was very exciting to meet with a group of people from all walks of life who share a common goal – delivering the best possible health care for their communities,” Mrs Taylor said.

“The meeting was a great opportunity to hear directly from panel members. We discussed the challenges that exist in our health system and shared and explored ideas on how we can address these challenges and better support the health care needs of our rural and regional communities.”

Chief Executive Officer of NSW Rural Doctors Network and Regional Health Ministerial Advisory Panel Chair Richard Colbran said the panel gives regional communities a direct say in shaping the future of their health care services.

“I’m confident with the experience and expertise on this panel we’ll be able to work collaboratively with Minister Taylor and NSW Health to help solve some of the health challenges faced by our regional and rural communities,” Mr Colbran said.

Coordinator General of Regional Health Luke Sloane said the panel will support work already underway by NSW Health to implement the recommendations of the Rural Health Inquiry, including the development of a new Regional Health Plan.

“The advisory panel will provide us with invaluable guidance as we get on with the job at hand, particularly addressing the Inquiry’s recommendations and developing and implementing a plan to guide the provision of regional health services for the next decade,” Mr Sloane said.

The NSW Government announced the largest workforce boost in the nation’s history in the 2022-23 Budget with a $4.5 billion investment over four years to recruit 10,148 full-time equivalent staff to hospitals and health services across NSW, with 3,800 of those positions in rural and regional areas.

The NSW Government is also incentivising hard-to-fill, critical roles in hospitals and health facilities with an $883 million investment targeted at recruiting and retaining staff in regional, rural and remote areas.

More information about the Regional Health Ministerial Advisory Panel is available on the NSW Health website.

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