The Bowen Basin Sustainable Resources Local Leadership Group (BBLLG) identified the lack of access to sustainable and appropriate public and private medical and other health services as one of the major issues impacting the communities in the Bowen Basin Region. The increased demand on health services was due to the substantial growth in population associated with resource development projects in the region, compounded by the ongoing difficulties of recruiting and retaining experienced health professional as occurs in rural and regional areas across Australia and Queensland.
In response to the increasing population and health workforce shortages across the Bowen Basin, the Leadership Group commissioned Health Workforce Queensland in conjunction with Kristine Battye Consulting to develop a Regional Health Services Plan for the Bowen Basin, offering tangible strategies and an action plan for the BBLG.
The methodology included a desktop audit of plans, analysis of relevant demographic and population health data, and identification of planning activities that may impact on health service delivery in the region.
An online survey of health and community care providers in the Bowen Basin was undertaken to m
There was extensive consultation with key stakeholders that operate at a local and regional level. Key groups included Local Government, Queensland Health, local health professionals, mining industry representatives, non-government organisations, Medicare Locals, Central Qld Division of General Practice and consumers to identify service and system gaps, local health priorities and opportunities to address service gaps aligned to local priorities.
In addition to the consultations a full-day workshop was held in Emerald with key representatives from the BBLG and industry to develop tangible strategies to promote and support solutions to improve the capacity of, and access to health services in the region.
The final report identified strategies for use by local government, the mining industry and others to inform service plans of Local Health and Hospital Services and Medicare Locals.