Client: Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing

Regional health service planning project for the Central West region of Queensland identified by the shires of Aramac, Barcoo, Barcaldine, Blackall, Boulia, Diamantina, Ilfracombe, Isisford, Jericho, Longreach, Tambo and Winton, to develop a viable and sustainable primary health care service delivery model, which is based on community-identified, local needs

Project timeline: July 2002 – April 2003

Brief description:

  • Examine current RHS plan (produced earlier for a sub-section of the region) and other relevant needs studies, and identify the areas of work that are required with particular emphasis on creating an evidence base and a model of care

  • Undertake broad community, service provider and key stakeholder consultation to clearly identify the health issues facing all sections of the region

  • Produce a community needs analysis report detailing community-identified priorities for primary health and aged care

  • Recommend an agreed model of viable and sustainable service delivery (including budget) to meet prioritised needs not currently being addressed, which includes identification of suitable auspice organizations, commitment to community governance, strategies to improve community’s capacity to manage its own health services, and strategies to overcome challenges of recruitment and retention of health professionals

  • Identify an implementation plan and associated budget to execute the model

  • Assist identified auspice complete an application for Regional Health Services Program service delivery

Outcome:

Community needs assessment/planning paper completed November 2002. Draft models of service delivery disseminated for comment December 2002. Auspice identified end February 2003. Application submitted mid April 2003. Two regional health service models funded in the Central West:

  • Matilda Health Service, auspiced by the Royal Flying Doctor Service, providing mental health and social and emotional wellbeing services across the eastern sector, i.e. 9 shires from Longreach to Tambo

  • Extension of the North West QLD Allied Health Service to the communities of Birdsville, Bedourie (Diamantina Shire), Boulia (Boulia Shire), Jundah and Windorah (Barcoo Shire)

  • In addition, significant capital funding was obtained to build new health clinic at Birdsville (partnership between Australian Government Dept of Health and Ageing, Dept of Transport and Regional Service, Diamantina Shire, Queensland Health).

Total Commonwealth commitment to Central West: $3.5 million over 3 years