Labor's Peakhurst plan for better local health services

Healthy alternative: from left, NSW Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord, NSW Labor candidate for Oatley Lucy Mannering, Federal Labor candidate for Banks Chris Gambian, and Federal Shadow Health Minister Catherine King at Peakhurst Park yesterday.
Healthy alternative: from left, NSW Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord, NSW Labor candidate for Oatley Lucy Mannering, Federal Labor candidate for Banks Chris Gambian, and Federal Shadow Health Minister Catherine King at Peakhurst Park yesterday.

Peakhurst and the surrounding district would get its own HealthOne service to provide an alternative to hospital emergency ward visits for basic urgent health issues, under a joint Federal and State Labor proposal.

HealthOne services bring together state-run primary and community health and general practice services and can include pharmacists, dental services and private allied health professionals.

The aim of HealthOne facilities is prevent illness, improve chronic disease management, reduce avoidable admissions and unnecessary demand for hospital care and improve access to health services for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.

Under the proposal, a future Federal Labor Government would provide $10 million to establish a local HealthOne service and a future NSW Labor government would pay for the ongoing operational costs.

A new HealthOne facility at Peakhurst or Peakhurst Heights would also service Riverwood, Narwee, Beverly Hills, Lugarno, Mortdale, Penshurst and Oatley.

There are 27 OneHealth services in NSW and only one in the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District and that is at Sutherland.

Shadow Health Minister Health and Medicare, Catherine King and NSW Shadow Minister for Health, Walt Secord joined Labor candidate for the Federal seat of Banks, Chris Gambian and Labor candidate for the State seat of Oatley, Lucy Mannering at Peakhurst yesterday to announce the initiative.

Mr Gambian said a local HealthOne facility would end the need for patients requiring basic urgent treatment to go a major hospital and spend hours waiting in emergency departments.

“This will be a 24-hour, one-stop mini-clinic which will take pressure off hospital emergency wards,” he said.

Mr Gambian said the Peakhurst area was extremely underserviced in terms of health services.

“The nearest hospitals are at St George or Bankstown, both 30-minutes’ drive and there are no 24-hour medical centres with allied health services in the area."

Ms Mannering said a local HealthOne facilities would ease pressure on local General Practices particularly in Oatley where several GPs are unable to take anymore patients and have closed their books.

Ms King called the NSW model of HealthOne services bringing together state-run, community health services and general practice health services as unique.

Mr Secord said a HealthOne facility at Peakhurst or Peakhurst Heights was about relieving the pressure on local public public hospitals.

“At St George Hospital, more than 40 per cent of patients were in triage four and five categories - two of the least urgent categories,” he said.

At Bankstown almost 30 per cent of patients are in triage four and five categories.

Triage category 4 includes less severe symptoms or injuries, such as a foreign body in the eye, sprained ankle, migraine or earache, and triage category five includes illnesses or symptoms that may have been present for more than a week, such as rashes or minor aches and pains.

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