Health priorities for FNQ revealed

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Find out what has been nominated by Far North Queenslanders as their top health priorities for the region.

Better access to mental health and addiction services has been nominated by Far North Queenslanders as the top priority for health authorities across the region.

The Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service has released the top 5 needs for the region, which were identified through a Local Area Needs Assessment (LANA) earlier this year.

The LANA, comprised of a series of consultation meetings and population and health data analysis, will help determine if changes are required to meet any unmet and emerging health needs in the region.

CHHHS Acting Chief Executive Dr Jeremy Wellwood said through the process, a list of 58 needs were drawn up.

'Through our LANA process, we’ve spoken to nearly 300 attendees via face-to-face and virtual meetings and had more than 940 responses from health providers and the community to our online surveys,' he said.

The top five prioritised needs for the region were:

  1. Mental health and addiction services
  2. Transport to enable access to health services
  3. Improving access to GPs for patients to receive timely care
  4. First Nations people’s cultural safety (including workforce)
  5. Health workforce availability and capability

'Identifying our communities’ health needs and planning for future clinical services are vital if we are to continue to meet their evolving and growing health needs,' he said.

'This important work also guides our resourcing decisions and our planning for programs or activities that support health needs into the future.

'Now that we have a list of needs, we want to make sure that we are on the right track.'

Dr Wellwood invited more Far North Queenslanders to have their say on local health services by attending upcoming feedback and consultation sessions being held during August and September.

'Your views, as a health consumer or a health provider in our region are vital to this LANA process,' he said.

'You can give us particular insight to inform our future planning, including emerging treatments, workforce needs, the efficiency and effectiveness of current service delivery models and opportunities for improvement, coordination and linkages between services to improve access to care for our community.

'Once we have consulted on our LANA findings to ensure we have accurately reflected the local needs, we will provide our findings to our staff, the community and health providers.

'They will also continue to inform our future services planning.'

Full details of locations, dates and times of upcoming feedback sessions can be found on our LANA page.