Health patients to have more say
PATIENTS on the Fraser Coast will have greater influence over hospital and health care decisions thanks to a new advisor program announced today.
Up to 15 patients and carers will be chosen to sit on the new Consumer Advisory Network, to be formed by Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board and Wide Bay Medicare Local.
The network will hold regular meetings to address problems raised by their own experience with Fraser Coast healthcare as well as those of other patients.
It will also be asked to give patient input on decision making and strategic planning for health services on the Fraser Coast.
Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board deputy chair Barbara Hovard said the board would look to draw patients across a range of services such as aged care, mental health, heart care and diabetes sufferers.
"It is the patients and the carers that really see how a hospital works," she said.
A similar network has already been established in Bundaberg with about 10 members.
"Unfortunately, Wide Bay has a high level of sickness," Mrs Hovard said.
She said any patient who had used Queensland Health services on the Fraser Coast in the past two years could apply and also encouraged rural patients to apply.
Mrs Hovard said other patients would then be able to approach members of the network to give their views.
"They will actively consult with the section of the community they identify with," she said.
GP Links Wide Bay CEO Shane Dawson said the new Wide Bay Medicare Local would embrace the network.
Phone 4325 6520 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to apply to become a member of the Consumer Advisory Network.