Community's voices heard on hospital business case

Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network CEO Rebecca Graham speaks with residents on Thursday.
Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network CEO Rebecca Graham speaks with residents on Thursday.

Representatives from the Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network have heard from passionate residents as consultation continues for a new Barossa Hospital 'Hub' business case.

About 100 people attended two sessions over two days last week for 'Stage One' of the business case project.

At the meetings, Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network CEO Rebecca Graham explained that stage one involved identifying the health needs and priorities of the Barossa and surrounds.

Ms Graham announced that a new Barossa Hospital Hub would involve the consolidation of both the Tanunda and Angaston Hospitals.

The Barossa region has been identified as one of the few regions that is expected to experience population growth over the next year - with data predicting a 6.1 per cent increase.

Additionally, the Barossa is known to have a higher percentage of people aged 65-84 than the state average.

Attendees were asked to answer a series of questions about their current hospitals and what they would like their local healthcare to look like in the future.

During discussions, some attendees highlighted the value of local doctors who were involved in their communities.

Medical student training programs and community-run health programs were also highlighted as being vitally important.

Attendees said a new hospital should return public dental, maternity and specialist services to the region.

Consultation will include local residents as well as medical, nursing, allied and mental health providers.

The development of the business case is expected to be complete in the first half of 2020.

If the need is found to build a new hospital, it is proudly supported by the community and other stakeholders, and it is shown to be cost-effective, the Barossa Hills Fleurieu LHN said they will use the business case to seek funding from the State Government to build the facility.

Health Advisory Council host AGM

The Barossa HAC volunteers who fully support the Barossa Hospital Business Case, extend an invite to all the community to their annual general meeting in November.

Presiding member Liz Haebich explained the meeting will enable the community to fully understand Barossa HAC's role within the community and the services they support.

"Hospital boards dissolved in 2008 becoming Health Advisory Councils," she explained.

"And as of July 1, 2019, state government set up the Local Health Networks and part of Barossa, Hills, Fleurieu local Health Network's role is to identify plans and broader issues."

The AGM will be held on Monday, November 4 at the Vine Inn, Nuriootpa, at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. A light supper will follow.