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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Batemans Bay HealthOne is one step closer: but to what?

Batemans Bay HealthOne is one step closer to becoming a reality since it first began planning six months ago. The service is intended to perform as a one-stop offering what NSW Health describes as a “unique model of integrated care for the community”. The details of exactly what HealthOne in Batemans Bay will look like remain unknown. What is known is that there is a budget of $20 million from NSW Health. Will it be a new building, a set of buildings (described as Hub and Spoke) or will it be a connection of services that already exist that are linked by improved paperwork and administration practices? That is yet to be revealed. All we know is that it is "one step closer". That also means we don't actually know when it will be delivered or what the $20 million allocation will pay for. NSW Health say "In practical terms, integration for HealthOne NSW means that the planning, administration and provision of primary and community health care services is integrated. In establishing HealthOne NSW services, the process of transition from autonomous services, often provided at separate locations some distance from each other, to integrated services, can take time. Service partners may take a staged approach, starting with collaborative or coordinated arrangements. Successful integration is an ongoing adaptive process rather than a one-off initiative, it is organisational systems and processes, the work of teams and individuals that ultimately achieve the alignment and coordination associated with integration to deliver stepped changes for client and population benefit" Local Health Districts, including Southern NSW Local Health District, are generally guided by their community needs to determine the configuration that is best suited to each locality.

The intention of HealthOne is to deliver health upgrades to rural communities, so that people can access higher quality health services in contemporary, purpose built facilities close to home.

The model brings together a Commonwealth-funded general practice and state-funded primary and community healthcare services that includes dental, pharmacy and allied health professionals creating a healthcare hub in one location.

The general message is that while Commonwealth and State Governments have different areas of responsibility in delivering health services, the community just simply wants an effective, seamless system that works.

HealthOnes are particularly beneficial for people who have complex health needs, and have been proven to be a successful model that bridges the gap between private providers and Commonwealth and State delivered health services. While there is no fixed model for HealthOne NSW services, they are characterised by a motivation to bring health care professionals together to reduce the increasing burden of chronic disease and to focus on those people in the community who need a greater level of coordinated care.

The new HealthOne at Batemans Bay is intended to complement the new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital which will be built at Moruya.

While the development of the HealthOne at Batemans Bay is a positive there are still no details of the servcies will deliver.

When first the allocation of $300,000 to get the planning underway was announced in August 2021the questions asked by the community were left unanswered.

The general response at the time was that any additional services provided to the region was very welcome however the suspicion has progressed that the HealthOne option is little more than a political pacifier to the Batemans Bay community as they begin to realise their hospital is undergoing considerable change that already has the community being redirected to the existing Moruya Hospital, well before the opening of the new Eurobodalla Hospital.

Also of concern is the continued outcry from the Narooma and Cobargo communities who seem to be falling through the net of on-site local health provision as NSW Health continues to centralise.

With the reduction of service provision and rebates in Tele-Health rural and regional NSW health services are still falling a long way from the promises being made.


NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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