WHEATBELT residents suffering long-term, chronic health conditions will benefit from an increase in services, member for the Agricultural Region Mia Davies announced last week.
“As part of the $565 million Southern Inland Health Initiative (SIHI), two dedicated coordinators will now work with patients to ensure they are accessing the multi-disciplinary health care they need,” Ms Davies said.
Karen Beardsmore has been appointed as coordinator primary care Integration for the Western Wheatbelt, based in Northam and Brooke Gibbons has been appointed to the Eastern Wheatbelt with her office in Merredin.
Two additional coordinators will be located in the Central Great Southern and Southern Wheatbelt districts.
General practitioners have a key role in providing advice, but they will now be better supported by two primary care integration coordinators.
For example, someone newly diagnosed with diabetes may need to see a general practitioner, a podiatrist and nutritionist but knowing this and how to access these professionals can be difficult, especially for people in the early stages of their diagnosis.
“The Nationals in government are committed to working towards providing regional people suffering from chronic health conditions the level and quality of professional health expertise provided to their metropolitan counterparts,” Ms Davies said.
“A diagnosis of a serious health problem and its subsequent treatment can be a daunting process for both the patient and family.
“The provision of a well-resourced expert support network will go a long way to taking the angst out of a difficult circumstance.”