Far North Queenslanders are being urged to have their say on the future health needs of their region.
The Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service has launched a Local Area Needs Assessment (LANA) to identify areas of healthcare improvement in the Far North.
CHHHS Acting Chief Executive Steve Thacker said the LANA would determine if changes were required to meet any unmet and emerging health needs across the region.
‘This assessment will help us determine the community’s health priorities, how to better use resources, and plan programs or activities that support the health of our community,’ he said.
‘We last carried out a major review of our health services about 5 years ago to develop our Clinical Services Plan.
‘Through that process, we were able to identify a need for new services such as expanded cardiac services at Cairns Hospital; and expanded dialysis facilities, chemotherapy and endoscopy in our rural areas.
‘With our population having grown significantly in the past decade, we are hoping the LANA can help provide insight into disease trends, workforce needs, effectiveness of current service delivery models and opportunities for improvement, co-ordination and linkages between services, and barriers to access.
‘We want to hear about the health issues and concerns that matter most to people in our region.’
During the next few weeks, in-person and virtual workshops are being held in key locations across the region, which are all open to the public to join.
Far North Queenslanders also have the option of taking part in the LANA via an online survey for the general public, and health professionals.
The locations, dates and times and links to the surveys can be found on the CHHHS website.
‘We have tried to make our LANA as accessible as possible so everyone can be involved,’ Mr Thacker said.
‘The more people who have their say on our local health services, the more we can understand our region’s health service and community needs.
‘The information from the LANA will be compiled together with a systematic analysis of health data.
‘The outcomes of the assessment will help guide local decision making and form the basis of our Health Service’s plans.’
For more information about the Local Area Needs Assessment, head to the Have your say on local health services web page.