Chronic disease wheatbelt patients will receive new services

Wheatbelt residents diagnosed or at high risk of chronic disease will have access to improved care through the delivery of a new service in the region.

A snapshot of health in the wheatbelt in 2016 revealed that hospitalisation for diabetes complications was 1.2 times higher than the rest of WA.

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) regional manager Fiona Bush said potentially preventable hospitalisations from chronic diseases, such as diabetes, has resulted in the delivery of an Integrated Chronic Disease Care program.

Ms Bush said the program, which includes care coordinators and integrated allied health services, aims to improve the health of disadvantaged people who suffer from chronic diabetes, cardiology or respiratory conditions.

“A care coordinator and team of health professionals will support individuals to manage their chronic conditions, while GPs remain at the centre of their patient’s care,” she said.

“There are many barriers disadvantaged people with chronic disease experience accessing allied health care in the wheatbelt.

“Through this service we are helping people, who are diagnosed or at high risk of developing these conditions, by funding a local care coordinator in Northam, Merredin and Narrogin.

Ms Bush said the program means support and care will be provided closer to home for people accessing the service.

“This new coordinated service will enable GPs to implement their care plans and support patients to receive appropriate care,” she said. 

“The care coordinator will arrange appointments for eligible patients, with local allied health professionals or telehealth services.”