Where is the fair deal for family health in south west Sydney?
The South West Sydney Health Coalition (SWSHC) was formed by concerned GPs, health organisations and community leaders from Bankstown Fairfield and Liverpool on 4 November 2010. The SWSHC formed in response to a recent consultant’s report that proposed a giant new family medicine bureaucracy stretching from Bowral to Bankstown.
Speaking on behalf the SWSHC, Dr. Susan Harnett, a local GP and Chair of the Bankstown GP Division said, "A giant health bureaucracy is the wrong medicine in south west Sydney. Some of the most diverse and most disadvantaged urban communities in Australia lie in the Bankstown, Fairfield to Liverpool corridor."
"Noone asked local family doctors, community organisations or families if this was a good idea. Our futures were quietly decided in a backroom deal by mid-level health managers. And, unlike everywhere else in Australia, so far we've been offered no option but to accept this giant new bureaucracy," said Dr. Harnett.
"Two weeks ago, local and Canberra based family medicine leaders met in urgent talks to resolve this emerging crisis. But unfortunately today, the situation is still no clearer," she said.
“We welcome government moves to better cooordinate family doctors, hospitals and community organisations. These are very exciting opportunities that could really bring big improvements to families’ health in the years ahead,” Said Dr. Harnett. “But families here, in south west Sydney are at real risk of missing out on these opportunities if we don’t stop the plan to create the largest family medicine bureaucracy in Australia now.”
“A giant bureaucracy, that is out of touch with local GPs, local families and our diverse local communities will almost certainly fail to achieve the government’s ambitious health goals in south west Sydney. This bureaucracy will fail to prevent disease, will fail to better manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and hepatitis B, and fail to coordinate services with an over-stretched hospital system,” she said.
"Based on our consultation with health and community leaders, we believe two smaller organisations, which the government has called Medicare Locals, are the only solution. Firstly, a Medicare Local covering the natural grouping of Bankstown Fairfield and Liverpool. And secondly, a Macarthur – Southern Highlands Medicare Local, serving the fast-growing suburbs south of Liverpool”, said Dr. Susan Harnett.
"Only local communities, working with local GPs, local government and other local health professionals can make these new federal government family medicine initiatives work, and secure good health for families into the future in south west Sydney” said Dr Harnett.
"We ask everyone to write to their state and federal MPs, and join us in getting a fair deal for family health in south west Sydney."
FACT SHEET http://swshc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/m...