Community Forums on Health
Late in 2012 many community members participated in Health Forums in the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Lithgow and Penrith, providing a valuable insight into the positives and negatives of the healthcare system.
Online surveys in these areas also gave residents an extra opportunity to have their say. Forum and survey participants provided a number of positive stories and comments about health services. In particular, participants were clear about praising doctors, nursing staff and other health professionals, administrative and community transport staff, community services and hospital care. They recognised that there were severe resource shortages both in the hospital and the community; however the members of staff were doing their best.
A wide range of health issues and related concerns were also aired. Some were specific to the local area while others were also raised by participants in other areas.
Community Reports produced as a result of the Community Forums can be downloaded below.
Community Reports - Blue Mountains Community Forums on Health
Access to health services is made more difficult by the unique geography of the Mountains and its associated transport challenges. Service gaps, support for carers, bushfire risk and isolation concern consumers. Centralised and streamlined communication on health services is one of the fourteen recommendations for the Blue Mountains.
Community Reports - Hawkesbury Community Forums on Health
Transport, knowledge about services and service communication problems impact on healthcare access for Hawkesbury residents. The Hawkesbury area is a flood-prone regional area that relies on some services in neighbouring Nepean. Access to carer support, more youth and aged care services, and a local mental health workforce were among the priority needs.
Community Reports - Lithgow Community Forums on Health
Distance to health services and local service gaps lead to healthcare access problems for Lithgow residents. The high cost and inconvenience of transport options need to be addressed. These present greater problems to those on low incomes. Better access to local mental health services and aged care are also among the local priorities. Culturally appropriate services are needed for the area’s growing Aboriginal population.
Community Reports - Nepean Community Forums on Health
Rapid population growth and increasing diversity create complex health needs, putting pressure on health services. Consumers called for additional resourcing to enable better communication and culturally-responsive services and access. Consumers also want greater recognition of holistic and alternative therapies.
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