Consultation on the future of health in South Australia

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Data released by SA Health today has identified key areas of focus to help guide the strategic direction of the health system for the next five years.

SA Health Chief Executive, Dr Chris McGowan, said protecting and promoting good health and preventing illness is vital for individuals and the community.

“We know that dementia, cancer, cardiovascular disease, mental illness and chronic diseases like diabetes and respiratory conditions are significant challenges for many individuals, and our health system must be equipped to manage these conditions in the future,” Dr McGowan said. 

“In South Australia, 63 per cent of adults and 27 per cent of children are overweight and behaviours such as poor diet, low exercise levels and smoking are all contributing to the burden of chronic disease.

“With our state having the highest prevalence of diabetes and second highest prevalence of cardiovascular disease nationally, we need to look at how we can reduce rates of preventable illness and injury that can lead to potentially preventable hospitalisations.

“South Australia has also had higher re-admission rates for most surgical procedures in recent years, as well as experiencing a higher number of emergency department presentations and longer wait times for elective surgeries. 

“One of the first steps to improving safety and quality in our hospitals is to empower our clinicians and staff with the right tools and information they need to make the best decisions for their patients.”

Consultation is now open on a summary framework that will underpin a new Health and Wellbeing Strategy for release later this year. Planning future services to meet current and future needs of the growing and ageing population is a key feature of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2019-2024.

Dr McGowan said the summary framework document provides an opportunity for the public to have their say on the priorities and future direction of the health system.

“We know that over time, some people have lost trust in the health system and regaining this trust is imperative to enable the system to deliver innovative, world-class care to improve the health and wellbeing of South Australians,” he said. 

“A focus for us is to look at alternative ways to provide and deliver healthcare while creating efficiencies in the way we work. 

“By becoming early-adopters of emerging technologies we can enhance the patient experience to more effectively interact with the system.

“We’re also looking at ways of improving how we communicate with healthcare providers through a variety of digital mechanisms, share information, have remote consultations and prescribed medicine delivered, and access to trusted information on condition specific management.

“Incorporating feedback from the public into the development of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy will provide a guide for positioning South Australia’s health system towards achieving the future we want for all residents of South Australia.” 

Consultation runs for six weeks and is open until Friday 19 April 2019. 

For more information visit the YourSAy website.

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