Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed says community health centres in the region must be consulted as part of a state-wide effort to strengthen the sector.
Ms Sheed said it was vital that frontline organisations such as Primary Care Connect in Shepparton were engaged by a new expert taskforce set up to identify a shared vision and priorities for community health and has called on the Minister for Health to outline the nature of their involvement.
“Numerous reports have found that when it comes to health outcomes and access to health services, rural populations in Victoria suffer from a disproportionate level of disadvantage and it’s often primary care services that feel the brunt of that challenge,” Ms Sheed said.
“Indeed, today’s Auditor-General’s report into the Victorian Community Health Program highlights significant and very disappointing shortcomings in how community health services are funded, delivered and evaluated to ensure they are meeting the demands of our priority populations.
“Community health services offer a range of preventative programs and health management services that keep people out of hospital and need to be sufficiently resourced to do this important work.
“I welcome the announcement of an expert taskforce and would urge the Government to ensure regional and rural service providers are consulted extensively in the preparation of any recommendations – particularly those in the north of the state, including Shepparton District, which were not included in the Auditor-General’s report.
“As workers at the coal face of the sector, they and the communities they serve are ideally placed to contribute to any process to develop a stronger community health sector.”
You can read the full Auditor-General’s report here: https://www.audit.vic.gov.au/report/community-health-program
Riahn Smith 0419 138 978│email@example.com