Friday, July 8, 2022

Rural health failures no surprise says Cowra Mayor

Cowra Mayor, Bill West says a scathing report handed down by a NSW Parliamentary Committee last week describing health system efforts in rural and regional NSW as a “historic failure” comes as no surprise to local residents.

The report found that rural and regional communities had significantly worse health outcomes because they could not access high-standard healthcare. It also identified a distinct lack of support for healthcare workers living and working in rural and regional communities.

“This is not new information for the Cowra Shire community, and only serves to reinforce how much we need a Cowra Hospital Redevelopment Master Plan that matches the needs of our residents,” said Mayor West (pictured).

“Council has been voicing for years that the health system in rural and regional NSW is in crisis. Alongside our NSW Council counterparts, we will be calling on State and Federal Government to move swiftly to overhaul the failing health system in rural and regional NSW with meaningful action and investment.

“This investment should include as the highest priority, a redeveloped Cowra Hospital that meets the basic health care needs of our community and our region. That is not what we are seeing in the Cowra Hospital Master Plan currently on public exhibition,” he said.

The Shire’s $70.2 million Cowra Hospital Re-development was announced by the NSW Health Minister in February 2019. Western NSW Local Health District undertook comprehensive clinical services planning in 2020 to determine the future health services required for the Cowra Local Government Area.

The Cowra Hospital Master Plan unveiled on 30 March this year by NSW Health is currently open to the public for comment.

The NSW Country Mayors Association will host a special forum on the issue of Health outcomes and access to health and hospital services in rural, regional and remote NSW, when they meet in Sydney next week.

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