New health alliance to help community

Wollondilly Council has established a Health Alliance which aims to create a healthier community.

This follows a Health Needs Assessment which was completed last year and identified top health priorities.

The alliance is trialling new models of health care and ways to promote health so Wollondilly has better access to services.

Wollondilly Council community services manager Peter Wright said due to the small but dispersed population of Wollondilly, access to health services was difficult because they were primarily focused in the larger population centres of Campbelltown and Liverpool.

He said Wollondilly was an ideal community to explore new approaches to health service delivery because of the long distances residents had to travel.

E-health approaches are likely to be a new initiative to make better use of communication and health monitoring technologies to connect those in need to services and support.

The assessment found some of the key priorities were planning for health services when the population grows, better sharing of patient health information between hospitals, private and not for profit health organisations and improved access to community health services such as nursing, child and family services, aged care, mental health and rehabilitation services.

The assessment also identified the need to increase awareness about local health care services and treatment options, the need for more general practitioners, especially females, more medical specialists and preventative health needs to be a priority.

The council is partnering with South Western Sydney Local Health District and South Western Sydney Medicare Local in order to gain an updated snapshot of the health situation in the shire.