Health networks too large to manage

The Local Government and Shires Associations of New South Wales have questioned the size of proposed local health networks.

The Associations made a formal submission to the State Government in response to a discussion paper released by NSW Health in August. The discussion paper examined the implementation of the Federal Government’s proposed National Health and Hospitals Network.

Shires Association president Bruce Miller said the local health networks were too large to effectively manage local concerns.

“We are in support of local solutions for managing hospital and health services, however, the discussion paper talks of networks that are much large,” Cr Miller said.

“They are geographically the size of regions.”

Cr Miller said the Associations had made specific recommendations about altering the boundaries of the proposed Central West and Murrumbidgee Local Health Networks.

“Both should be split into two smaller networks, taking into account the travel distance for patients, staff and other stakeholders,” he said.

“You can’t call a network ‘local’ if a patient or member of staff has to drive over 500kms to reach a specialist service.”

Local government has also questioned the Government’s decision to recruit chairpeople of the networks before receiving submissions from stakeholders and the community.

Cr Miller said the Associations await a meeting with the Health Minister to discuss their submission.


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