HEALTH advocates are putting the pressure on the state government to fund a one-stop-shop for women’s health in Tamworth.
An extensive proposal tabled to the NSW Health Minister late last week, by SOS Women’s Services and Leichhardt Women’s Community Health Centre, put the spotlight on the shortfall of care for our local ladies.
The report found highlighted areas of need specific to the region including: a high number of potentially preventable hospitalisations of women, overwhelmed providers of domestic violence assistance, a large number of low birth-weight babies and specialists to address the region’s ageing population.
The proposal is seeking $1 million in funding per year and an estimated $430,000 in one-off set up costs.
SOS spokeswoman Roxanne McMurray said there have been no new women’s health centres since the 1980s and the demand for health services was expected to nearly double in the next 20 years.
“The health centre will be based on the same model as existing centres – to provide quality, low-cost health care to ensure health care is accessible and affordable to all women,” Ms McMurray said.
“It will also provide regular outreach clinics to surrounding areas. The centres are based on the Government’s excellent HealthOne model for multidisciplinary health care, providing everything under the one roof.”
Tamworth also has high numbers of preventable hospital admissions and low-birth weight babies which a women’s health centre could help reduce.SOS spokeswoman Roxanne McMurray
The proposal already has the support of a number of organisations including Tamworth Family Support Service, local police, Tamworth Regional Council, HealthWISE and the Country Women’s Association.
The Hunter New England health district had 11,944 preventable hospitalisations for females in 2014-15, which was higher than figures recorded in western and south-western Sydney.
The region’s domestic violence problem has also been laid bare to the health minister.
TFSS general manager Belinda Kotris said the proposal would become “a vital addition” with about 2500 calls for domestic violence assistance in any given year.
Due to the high number of incidents in Tamworth, the report recommends the clinic operate several days a week to help take the pressure of the local refuge which receives a huge number of calls for assistance each year,” Ms McMurray said.
“Tamworth also has high numbers of preventable hospital admissions and low- birthweight babies which a women’s health centre could help reduce, and we’re really pleased it’s received community support.”
The proposal also lobbied for women’s health centres to be funded and opened to address needs in Broken Hill and Griffith.
Tamworth women’s health centre proposal
- GP – three days a week
- Registered nurse (geriatric liasion nurse) – five days a week
- Physiotherapist – two days a week
- Health educator – two days a week
- Social worker – four days a week
- Dietitian – two days a week
- Business manager – five days a week
- Receptionists – five days a week
- Admin staff – five days a week