IN A move that has been welcomed, the Murrumbidgee Local Health District has become the first of the "big three" to commit to being part of Leeton's strategy to improve health services.
The MLHD has formalised its commitment to participate in the development of an Integrated Health Services Strategy for Leeton Shire.
Writing on behalf of the chairman of the MLHD board, chief executive officer Jill Ludford has sent a letter to Leeton Shire Council saying appreciated the offer.
Council and the community-led Leeton Health Services Crisis Committee are working together to produce the strategy and had called on the MLHD, Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network and the NSW Ambulance Service to sign on to assist.
In her letter, Ms Ludford wrote that "delivering integrated care ws essential to improving outcomes for people who use health and social care services".
As part of the strategy, it is hoped issues such as mental health, emergency care and the Leeton hospital will be properly addressed and solutions put forward.
The Strategy seeks to explore and develop alternative forms of service delivery that are less fragmented, more integrated and more cost-effective.
Mayor Tony Reneker thanked the MLHD for its positive response and willingness to collaborate.
"With a growing population of 11,500 residents and the shire being educationally and industrially active, the need to address our health issues is critical," councillor Reneker said.
"For our strategy to be successful, we need to do this together with our partners in health. I congratulate the MLHD for responding positively to our request to work together."
Leeton Health Services Crisis Committee chairwoman Maryann Iannelli said the move was a positive one from MLHD.
"Our collective aim is to achieve better co-ordination of services between ambulance, primary, community health and hospital settings and to achieve a more efficient and effective health care system overall," she said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"Having the MLHD as a confirmed partner for developing the strategy is wonderful news.
"If we get the Leeton Health Services Strategy right, we will put Leeton on the map as a contemporary and forward-thinking community when it comes to hospital and health services, helping us retain our skilled health workforce while also attracting new health care professionals to our shire."
Formal replies are still pending from the MPHN and the NSW Ambulance Service.
Council's general manager Jackie Kruger has advised initial engagement with both entities on collaborating "seemed positive" and she was hopeful both agencies will soon formally agree to collaborate, just as the MLHD has done.
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