LEETON Shire Council will move to develop what it is calling a "health plan" to help find possible solutions to the ongoing crisis in the area.
Council is hoping by developing such a plan it will be able to identify ways forward when it comes to Leeton shire residents having access to accessible and appropriate health care in town, including at the hospital.
A significant document has already been put together by council to the ongoing rural health inquiry, outlining the concerns and shortcomings in the shire.
Council has also been actively pushing for a permanent doctor at the hospital, as well as the re-opening of the operating theatre there.
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General manager Jackie Kruger said the idea behind the health plan would be to work collaboratively with organisations such as Murrumbidgee Local Health District, Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network, general practitioners in the shire and others.
"We want to work in partnership ... we need to work together to understand the needs of our community, we're not just another box that needs to be ticked or have things fit into," she said.
"We need to understand not just the community health needs, but also who is our workforce? What are their skill sets?
"How can we work differently and more efficiently to help each other and cross-collaborate rather than having services disconnected from each other?"
Mrs Kruger said the key in doing so and, evolving this health plan into say a pilot program, would be the support and help of the state and federal governments.
"No ideas or suggestions are off the table at this point," she said.
"We want to actively be part of the solution and if we have to set up some sort of pilot program, then that is something we will definitely consider.
"The way funding comes through (for health) from the state and federal governments can be quite fractured.
"That is what drives the systemic problems that we have. We just think if we can do little pilots or experiments of delivering health services differently in Leeton, it might bring about change eventually.
"Not just here, but in other regional areas across the country."
Share your stories with us as part of our campaign to have a permanent doctor by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call Talia on 0475 803 356.
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