TWO LOCAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS KEY TO GOVERNMENT’S RURAL HEALTH INQUIRY RESPONSE
The NSW Government has announced the unveiling of a new Regional Health Ministerial Advisory Panel, which includes two leading health professionals from the Tamworth electorate.
Chaired by Richard Colbran, CEO of the NSW Rural Doctors Network, the panel will advise the Minister for Regional Health, the Secretary of NSW Health and the Coordinator-General of the Regional Health Division on opportunities and solutions to improve healthcare, hospital, and support services in regional NSW.
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said Walcha’s Anna Barwick and Tamworth’s Professor Jenny May would be part of the panel, providing local knowledge and ensuring our region’s voice is heard.
“Both Anna Barwick and Professor May are well respected leading health professionals who know better than anyone the issues we face when it comes to healthcare in our region,” Mr Anderson said.
“They are passionate about improving health outcomes for our communities and I know their strong voice will be critical to improving outcomes in the New England North West.”
Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said she will work closely with the panel to create a new regional health plan, which will be released later this year.
“Mr Colbran is a respected leader who, along with his fellow panel members, will play an integral role in the NSW Government’s work to improve health outcomes for people across rural and regional NSW,” Mrs Taylor said.
“A key focus of the panel will be to identify and outline a broader vision and action plan for strengthening the rural and regional health system in NSW.”
The announcement of the panel coincides with the Government’s response to the Rural Health Inquiry which supports or supports in principle 41 of the 44 recommendations.
Mr Anderson said the NSW Government was committed to building a stronger health system with significant funding already committed as part of the 2022/23 NSW budget.
“We are building a stronger health system in our region with significant work underway on infrastructure projects like the Gunnedah Hospital, Banksia Mental Health Unit, health worker accommodation, and the new Tamworth Ambulance Station,” he said.
“This work coincides with the government’s $883 million commitment to attract and retain staff to rural and regional NSW, and I look forward to welcoming these new workers to our region.”