Ongoing issues of rural and regional access to medical services enjoyed in cities was a key topic at the Murrumbidgee Local Health District’s second Local Health Advisory Committee Forum for 2017.
Held in Tocumwal over two days last week, it was attended by 100 delegates from Finley, Jerilderie, Berrigan, Tocumwal, Deniliquin and other surrounding districts.
Tocumwal LHAC chair Elaine Cox said it was an opportunity to provide updates on LHAC achievements and projects, and discuss important health topics.
‘‘It was a really good forum for us to work on how the health district and local committees can provide high standard medical facilities for their town,’’ Mrs Cox said.
‘‘Obviously, we don’t have the same access as people living in the metropolitan regions of Australia.
‘‘It’s important that people realise all local health committees are getting together to help promote better health services.
‘‘If, for example, one town has a really successful health service, we discuss why it’s successful and whether it can be implemented in other towns.’’
Wednesday’s forum sessions included hospital operation information and discussion on suicide prevention methods, before a formal dinner featuring 2017 Australia’s Local Hero Vicki Jellie as guest speaker. Ms Jellie was instrumental in development of a cancer centre in Warrnambool, a wish of her husband who died from the disease.
On Thursday, the morning discussion was focused on ‘Caring for vulnerable people’.
‘‘Vulnerable people can range from the elderly, Aboriginal, mental health and aged,’’ Mrs Cox said.
‘‘In all medical facilities across the health district, we will have posters with the slogan ‘wellness is our goal, excellence is our passion, people are our future’.
‘‘We need to make people aware that there are various support groups available. It’s a major goal to get the word out to the community that there is support available.’’
Mrs Cox thanked the Tocumwal Hospital Auxiliary for its help during the forum, and for its fundraising efforts through raffles.
The next forum will be in April next year, with a location yet to be determined.