State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin is reminding residents that they have until this Sunday, December 13 to make submissions to the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into rural and regional health.
Ms Saffin said the inquiry came about due to public pressure on the NSW Government to do better for rural and regional NSW residents with many service provision areas, and significantly, with health care.
"The health outcomes for rural and regional residents is much poorer than for city residents and the NSW Public Health Information Unit's research shows this," Ms Saffin said.
"Too many locals have experienced missing doctors, an absence of services, and in the Tenterfield area inter-hospital transfers a long way from home when they could just be transferred across the border into a nearby Queensland hospital," Ms Saffin said.
"I have asked the Committee to hold hearings in our Electorate of Lismore, particularly in Tenterfield and Murwillumbah, in light of some ongoing issues which I have been lobbying on.
"This Parliamentary inquiry is an opportunity to tell such stories to the Parliament through its inquiry. We need this inquiry to shed a light on it, so that workable long term solutions can be found."
Three key findings are:
1. Avoidable deaths can be twice as likely in rural and regional communities when compared to cities
2. The median age of death for those in Sydney (79) is more than a decade higher than residents in our most remote communities (66)
3. The highest rates of preventable hospitalisation and preventable chronic disease are in regional and rural areas.
The inquiry will consider:
- Health outcomes for people living in rural, regional and remote NSW
- Staffing challenges and allocations
- Access and availability of services
- Planning systems
- Capital and recurrent health expenditure
"This is about fairness for rural and regional residents and the very basic human right to health care," Ms Saffin said.
"I encourage locals to make a submission directly and contact me if you need information or assistance."
Public hearings are set to take place in the new year.
Click here to make a submission.