“The NSW Rural Health Plan will identify innovative solutions for rural, regional and remote health in NSW, to improve access to quality health care and the general health of these communities,” Mrs Skinner said.
“The plan will ensure that rural health remains firmly on the state agenda, receiving the attention it deserves.”
Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Health Melinda Pavey and NSW Health’s Director of Health System Planning and Investment, Dr Liz Develin, will facilitate a consultation today at Lismore.
Mrs Pavey said just over a quarter of the NSW population lives outside the three major cities of Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong.
“There has been significant improvement and investment in rural health services since the last rural health plan was released in 2002, including a substantial increase in the rural health workforce and investment in the rural health infrastructure,” Mrs Pavey said.
“Despite these improvements, health services and people living in rural and remote NSW experience challenges due to a range of factors including: geographic isolation, socioeconomic disadvantage; access to health services; greater exposure to injury risks and Aboriginal populations with a high prevalence of health risk factors and diseases.”
Mrs Skinner said consultation with rural and regional stakeholders was fundamental to the development of the NSW Rural Health Plan.
“The NSW Government has made significant investments in health infrastructure throughout rural and regional NSW but, for a comprehensive understanding of where further work is required, we need the help of those who provide health services and those who rely on them,” Mrs Skinner said.
“I encourage everyone to participate in this consultation process, either directly or through submissions to the website”.