New study looks to improve health in Far West SA

HEALTH STUDY: Dr Matthew Leach and associate professor Martin Jones were in Ceduna last week for the study. Picture: Supplied

HEALTH STUDY: Dr Matthew Leach and associate professor Martin Jones were in Ceduna last week for the study. Picture: Supplied

The University of South Australia’s Department of Rural Health is undertaking a survey in regional South Australia in a bid to improve health services across the state, including on the West Coast.

More than 162,000 households across the state have been sent a postcard from the survey team, including 2087 West Coast homes, inviting them to take part.

Lead researcher Dr Matthew Leach, who grew up on Eyre Peninsula, urged all rural residents to take part.

“Every Australian has the right to access quality health care services, however for people living in rural, remote and regional South Australia, timely access to the services that they need and/or desire may not always be possible because of distance, transportation issues and service availability,” he said.

“This means that many of the 380,000 people living in regional SA may have unmet health care needs.”

Only 21 West Coast people have so far completed the survey, which Dr Leach said was too few a number to create policy changes.​

The survey is open to all adults living in regional South Australia who have used any health care service or received any health intervention – including self-prescribed treatments – within the past 12 months.

The UniSA Department of Rural Health will not only share the findings of the study with local communities, but also engage with those communities to assist in the development of strategies to help to address health care needs in these regions.

The survey is available at www.surveymonkey.com/r/CONVERSATIONS-SA, or call 1800 905 825 for a paper copy.

This story Study wants Far West views first appeared on West Coast Sentinel.