WA’s Shire of Murray Council has established a multi-agency steering committee to undertake a health and social needs analysis, in a bid to identify a long-term solution to health care service provision in the region.
Shire of Murray President, Councillor David Bolt said the Murray Health Futures Steering Committee included representatives from the Shire, South Metropolitan Health Service, WA Primary Health Alliance and Peel Development Commission.
“We are acutely aware of the various health needs of Murray residents and are taking action to identify a suitable long-term solution,” said Cr Bolt.
Statistics show, people living in Murray have more long-term health conditions – such as arthritis, heart disease and lung conditions – when compared to Greater Perth. They also tend to have limited access to public transport compared to other areas, such as Perth.
The Council says 37% of Murray residents have a long-term health condition, compared to 30% in Greater Perth. Additionally, 50.6% of adults live with obesity (vs 31.2% in WA), 23% have high blood pressure (vs 17% in WA) and 19% have high or very high psychological distress (vs 9% in WA).
“With the population expected to grow from 18,000 today to around 71,000 by 2051 – comprising a higher proportion of older residents than Perth – now is the time to identify a suitable long-term solution for future generations,” said Cr Bolt.
“The Murray Health Futures Steering Committee will explore opportunities and develop a business case for government consideration.
“As part of this project we will be undertaking a health and social needs analysis. This will inform our business case submission to government, ensuring our proposed solution meets the needs of the people in and around Murray.”
The health and social needs analysis will begin mid-August and will include broad community and industry consultation through surveys and workshops, and the assessment of official health data.