21.12.2017 07:10 Age: 332 days

Busy year for country hospitals and health services

Professor Neale Fong and Dr Christine Dennis

From nursing posts and outreach services, to child health clinics and bustling regional hospitals, WA Country Health Service (WACHS) plays an integral role in country life.

With approximately 972,000 outpatient appointments, over 300,000 emergency visits, just under 4,700 births and more than 139,000 acute hospital admissions, it’s been a particularly busy year for country hospitals and health services. 

WA Country Health Service Board Chair Professor Neale Fong said 2017 had been a very full and productive year for WACHS and there have been many significant achievements to celebrate and initiatives of which to feel immensely proud.

“It is the season to reflect on our success. This year there has been an increased focus on safety, quality and clinical performance, development of strategies in key priority areas and strengthened partnerships with other Government and non-Government agencies,” Professor Fong said.

“During the year, the Board visited the Great Southern, Goldfields, Wheatbelt, Kimberley and Pilbara regions, giving all members an opportunity to see first-hand our regional clinical services, to engage with staff and hear ideas on how we can further improve operational performance and patient care.”

“This was echoed in our meeting with Sustainable Health Review Chair Robyn Kruk, where we discussed our shared aim to prioritise the delivery of patient-centred, high quality and financially sustainable health care across the State.”

“We took the opportunity to emphasise areas important to country communities including patient pathways and equitable access to care.”

The past year also saw the completion of redevelopments through our capital works program, such as the Harvey Health Service, Collie Health Service and the Esperance Health Campus maternity unit, and continued expansion of the Emergency Telehealth Service, including the recent introduction of a 24/7 service.

“Another major achievement during the year was receiving accreditation from the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards Evaluation and Quality Management EQuIPNational Corporate Program,” Professor Fong said.

“This means that regional residents can be assured that WACHS is meeting contemporary standards set for the health care system across Australia.”

WA Country Health Service Chief Executive Jeff Moffet thanked all staff across regional WA for their commitment and incredible hard work over the past year.

“Despite the challenges of vast distances, our staff excel in providing health care to the communities they live and work in,” Mr Moffet said.

“Many individuals and teams from across the health service were recognised at a number of awards ceremonies this year, which is a testament to the calibre of our staff and their dedication to improving patient care across country WA.

“The recent WA Health Excellence Awards saw WACHS, in partnership with Diabetes WA and the WA Primary Health Alliance, win the Director General’s Award for the Diabetes Telehealth program, along with individual recognition to Dr Dianne Mohen as joint winner of the Minister for Health’s Award for Outstanding Commitment to a Healthier WA and Steph Waters for the Jill Porteous Memorial Award for Safety and Quality.

“Putting patients first is a round-the-clock commitment, and a number of our dedicated staff will be working throughout the Christmas and New Year break to ensure high quality health care services continue to be provided to those in need.”

“On behalf of all staff at the WA Country Health Service, I would like to thank the communities in regional and remote WA for their ongoing support of our staff and our health service. We wish you all the best for a safe and happy festive season and look forward to the challenges and successes that 2018 will bring.”


WACHS media contact: Fran Lyons, Media Coordinator, 6145 4166


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