A COMMUNITY health forum held in Orange this week to plan for future health services in the region was poorly attended by people not already employed in he health sector.
Touted as a forum to gain an insight into the top health issues for the Orange community, it was the general public that didn’t take up the offer to be a part of future planning.
Despite the majority of the 20 attendees being healthcare workers it was still a productive session according to Western NSW Local Health District (LHD) executive officer Ron Dunham.
Education, transport and supporting older people in their own homes were the main issues from the forum according to Mr Dunham.
“We need to put a local flavour around some of these services,” he said.
Cancer Council Relay for Life co-ordinator Anna Farrell addressed the forum and said promotion and access to cancer screen services needed to be enhanced along with better transport options to bring people to Orange for treatment.
Cancer Care Western fundraiser Jan Savage told the forum there is a need for better health education in lower socio-economic and indigenous communities across Orange.
“A lot of people in these communities have poorer literacy skills,” she said.
“Information sessions could be held in areas where the poorer people come together.”
Orange councillor Fiona Rossitor attended the forum and said she believed the greatest challenges facing the Orange community was a lack of a second linear accelerator, not enough hospital beds and no hydrotherapy pool
Member for Orange Andrew Gee attended the forum and said there is still a chance for the community to have their say in an online survey.
“I’d like to see as many people as possible complete the online survey because if people don’t do it the strategic plan won’t be as representative as it could be,”
An online community health survey is available online https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WNSWLHD-Community_Input or a paper based form can be obtained from the health service.
This week’s community health forum was one of six being held across the region with information to be collated into a strategic plan to give to the minister for health.