Macarthur matters with Mike Freelander: Health is a community affair

Macarthur matters with Mike Freelander: Health is a community affair

"Health is a community affair. Communities must look beyond the person who is sick in bed or who needs medical attention. Each of us needs continuing health services beginning with birth and lasting throughout our lives."

Those words, first spoken by the great late Gough Whitlam in 1972, remain ever true.

Maintaining accessibility to good quality, affordable, and local health care ought to be among the top priorities of any government.

As someone who has practiced medicine for four decades, I was driven to stand for my community and enter politics after witnessing the many barriers that my patients (and their families) were facing, in terms of access to care.

Our region is experiencing unprecedented growth. New families are moving to Macarthur at extraordinary rates.

If we are to cope with this population growth, the adequate provision of healthcare and health infrastructure must be a core priority for all levels of Government.

Our local hospitals at Campbelltown, Camden and Liverpool must be properly staffed. Our healthcare workers do tremendous jobs, but they are presently under resourced, and ill-equipped to meet the growth in demand that will come with the rapid growth in population.

In recent years we have witnessed a collapse in the outpatient services that Health provides; patients are having to wait far too long to receive the care they need and must pay higher costs than ever to see a specialist.

Our growth areas need better access to public healthcare.

People are already struggling to access the care that they need, and Macarthur residents need access to quality, 21st Century healthcare.

Goodness knows that Macarthur residents need access to good, local jobs in these difficult economic times. One place the Government ought to immediately start is through properly staffing our existing public health institutions.

This story Macarthur matters with Mike Freelander: Health is a community affair first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.