BUSY TIME: SWHHS chairman Jim McGowan reflects on the financial year successes.
BUSY TIME: SWHHS chairman Jim McGowan reflects on the financial year successes. Contributed

Southwest's health service welcome 40,000 extra patients

IN THE past financial year, 135,751 outpatients attended South West Hospital and Health Service facilities, a significant increase from the 93,415 who presented in 2017-18

That's a finding in the organisation's annual report, tabled in Queensland Parliament this week.

Board chairman Jim McGowan said SWHHS was marking a year of achievements in delivering high-quality health services to local communities.

"We will continue to work with our communities in the coming 12 months to enhance our service,” Mr McGowan said.

"Our oral health team also had great successes, delivering 40,148 oral health occasions of service, significantly higher than the 35, 386 delivered in 2017-18.

"Our policy of improving the availability of primary health services and access to general practice clinic services through our network of GP clinics operated by our hospital doctors throughout the region also has borne fruit.”

Mr McGowan said as a result of improved access to primary health and GP clinic services, pressure was taken off hospital emergency departments, "with a reduction in presentations from 38,267 in 2017-18 to 29,324 during 2018-19”.

"This is quite a remarkable achievement.”

Other achievements for the year included:

  • Jointly planning and prioritising services in partnership with other health service providers
  • Partnership with Southern Queensland Rural Health, of which the SWHHS is a member
  • Meeting with Children's Health Queensland to better support local children requiring healthcare and providing high-quality patient and family-centred care, no matter the postcode
  • Launched the Healthy Communities Initiative with the development of a Healthy Communities Toolkit
  • Development of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy 2018-22 with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership Advisory Council, Indigenous communities and partner services
  • Strategic partnerships established with the primary health care sector to develop and implement an integrated health system
  • More can be found at: www.parliament.qld.gov.au/ work-of-assembly/tabled- papers/online-tabled-papers