Chief Executive of the South West Hospital and Health Service (SWHHS) Glynis Schultz, has spent her last two trips out to Charleville meeting with locals at the Neighbourhood Centre, discussing their concerns about the health services provided in the South West.
In what can only be described as a marathon effort, by locals and Ms Schultz, personal stories were shared and key issues such as the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme, tele-health and the hospital feedback system were all up for discussion.
Ms Schultz says coming to Charleville is always a rewarding experience and the consultations with locals is an important part of the process to improving health services for people living out west.
“I’m just so grateful that these people have taken the time out of their day to come and talk to me about the issues that are concerning to them, it’s very humbling,”
“I’m from the bush myself, I’ve had to take kids on big trips to see doctors, so I can understand some of the issues,”
” If we can harness the sense of humour, the lighter-side of life and the passion that Charleville locals have for their town and somehow reflect that in the health services, then we’ll be doing well,” says Ms Schultz.
Recently it was announced that Charleville will be home to nurse Nicky McKellar, who has taken up residence as the Charleville Nursing Uni Manager.
Her role as unit manager is a part of a SWHHS project which will increase cancer are facilities in Charleville, Roma and St George.
The expansion of services will take place over the coming months and aims to alleviate travel burdens on regional cancer patients seeking treatments such as chemotherapy.
Ms Schultz says where things can be fixed, they will be.
“We have a hospital feedback process which we really recommend for people with complaints, compliments or even just general comments,”
“We really value this feedback, because we need people to tell us how we’re going,” says Ms Schultz.
The Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme was one of the main concerns for those who met with Glynis, and she says a lot more information needs to be provided to those who use the service.
Charleville could also be seeing an increase in tele health use, where appropriate. There has been a growth of 70 – 85% per month across the south west, for those participating in tele – health consultations.