Berrigan Shire Mayor urges support for country health

Seeking improvements: Matt Hannan attended a rural health forum. Photo by supplied

Berrigan Shire Council took part in a Country Mayors Association of NSW Rural Health Forum in Sydney on May 26.

The forum followed the NSW Parliament tabling a Legislative Council inquiry into health outcomes and hospital and health service access in rural, regional and remote parts of the state.

Berrigan Shire Mayor Matt Hannan attended alongside Minister for Regional Health and Mental Health Bronnie Taylor, Shadow Minister for Health and Mental Health Ryan Park, Rural Doctors Network chief executive Richard Colbran, and National Rural Health Commissioner Adjunct Professor Ruth Stewart.

Cr Hannan said it was refreshing to hear Ms Taylor and Mr Ryan agree on the importance of rural health.

“It was very refreshing to hear both Minister Taylor and Shadow Minister Ryan agree that the matter of regional and rural health was of the utmost importance and should be approached on a bipartisan basis and brought before parliament as early as possible,” he said.

“The inquiry found that everybody in regional and rural NSW knows health and hospital services in country NSW are below standard when compared to the service levels experienced by those residing in metropolitan areas.”

Cr Hannan is urging all rural and regional councils to support the Country Mayors Association of NSW in its efforts to ensure parliament adopts all 44 recommendations of the inquiry.

“Council can ensure a marked improvement in the delivery of all aspects of health care to country NSW residents happens sooner rather than later,” he said.

“This is our opportunity to redress the deficiencies in regional and rural health delivery. We cannot let our communities continue to be let down.”