Nationals Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor has announced the establishment of a new Regional Health Division for NSW Health.
Mrs Taylor said the new division will ensure there is a renewed focus on the health services and outcomes for people living in regional and rural NSW.
“The establishment of the Regional Health Division is a key step towards ensuring the public health system has the needs and expectations of the communities of regional NSW at its heart,” Mrs Taylor said.
“Every day thousands of people receive quality care in our regional health centres, but we know that more needs to be done to address the issues facing health in regional areas, as highlighted by the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry, to ensure everybody receives good outcomes.
“The Regional Health Division will support the NSW Government’s commitment to bring a renewed focus on recruitment to key healthcare roles in regional NSW and to find innovative ways to support nurses, doctors, allied health practitioners, and the vital support service providers who work in healthcare facilities, to live and work in our regional communities.
“The Division will sit at the top level within the Ministry of Health and ensure strong advocacy of regional health issues, while also leveraging the strengths of our excellent, highly networked NSW public health system for the benefit of regional NSW.
“The Division will be led by a Coordinator-General for Regional Health, which will report directly to the Secretary of NSW Health, Susan Pearce, and support and provide advice to the Minister for Regional Health about issues concerning health in regional communities.”
In addition, each regional Local Health District in NSW is establishing defined roles who will report directly and be a key interface with the new division to help deliver on its objectives. The division will have staff based in regional NSW.
The Regional Health Division will support the Regional Health Minister to:
- Support the swift delivery of the NSW Government’s regional health election commitments and the response to the recommendations of the NSW Rural Health Inquiry;
- Support and coordinate the development and implementation of a new Regional Health Plan;
- Provide a single point of contact and advocacy for issues that are common across the Regional Health environment, including matters of long term concern such as workforce attraction and retention, cross border issues and communication and engagement with communities, clinicians and stakeholders;
- Identify opportunities to enhance local access to health and other social services that support quality health outcomes, including IPTAAS policy and reporting and strengthening pathways to other social services;
- Integrate health, social and economic data, business intelligence tools, and stakeholder feedback.
Under the new Regional Health Division, local health districts will continue to deliver health services to their local communities.