STRONGER TOGETHER: Building a sustainable health service for the Discovery Coast

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Last updated: 30/01/2023

"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya discusses how the Discovery Coast Model of Care Project aims to build a sustainable health service for the region.

By IMPACT Community Services Managing Director Tanya O'Shea

Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

As someone who works hard to live by their values, I am often reminded of how important it is to be clear about my values, and to check in on them occasionally to make sure they’re relevant.

It makes my heart sing seeing my values come to life, to be reminded of their relevance and to see meaningful progress – my personal gauge that a commitment to consistency in energy and effort in living my values is starting to pay off.

As the managing director of an organisation that serves the community, ensuring that my personal and professional values align, and that our business values are interwoven with all we do, is essential.

One of my values – opportunity - has delivered in bucketloads this week, and after some reflection, I was reminded that being targeted in the opportunities that I pursue is something that I have had to work on. There are times, when competing interests compromise my ability to focus. Please use this as inspiration to never lose sight of your values as they can be the beacon in the fog whenever things start to feel a little overwhelming!

One of the targeted opportunities that paid dividends this week was kicking off stage 2 of our Discovery Coast Model of Care project, which aims to build a sustainable health service that meets the growing needs of the Discovery Coast region.

The IMPACT Community Health Service is the main provider of primary health services on the Discovery Coast, providing community nursing and allied health services, and also provides for a range of visiting health services. We have recognised the need to further develop health services in the region as an urgent priority.

Currently on the Discovery Coast there is no hospital or health service available and limited GPs, with many who need medical help forced to rely on the local chemist and Queensland Ambulance Service for non-urgent issues or make a 3-hour round trip to Bundaberg or Gladstone for both regular and after hours care.

In collaboration with a consultant, we are researching models that aim to reduce the demand on emergency services, support General Practice and provide Discovery Coast residents with appropriate, affordable, and accessible primary health care locally.

What a fantastic opportunity we have to improve access to essential healthcare on the Discovery Coast! I’m wondering how many other communities have the same issues?

Please note: This website may contain references to, or feature images, videos, and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have passed away.

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