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Historic health partnership to target diabetes in Western NSW

14 June 2022

People living with Type 2 diabetes in Western NSW are set to benefit from a $13.7 million investment from the NSW Government’s Collaborative Commissioning program aimed to drive patient centred diabetes care in their local community.

Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said the funding will be rolled out over three years and deliver more co-ordinated, targeted diabetes care to the people across Western NSW.

“The latest data from the National Diabetes Service Scheme and HealthStats NSW shows that 6 per cent of people in Western NSW have diabetes, compared to 5.4 per cent of people across NSW. However, more concerningly it is 40 per cent more likely that those people in Western NSW will die from diabetes,” Mrs Taylor said.

“That’s why we are bringing together Western NSW and Far Western Local Health Districts, the Western Primary Health Network and the NSW Rural Doctors Network in a historic partnership to identify and support local people with Type 2 diabetes.

“The partnership will work to increase testing, deliver interventions earlier and build the capacity of the combined healthcare workforce to reduce pressure on acute services by keeping more people as healthy as possible.”

Minister for Western NSW Dugald Saunders welcomed the announcement and said the investment will be greatly appreciated by locals.

“Diabetes is an illness of major concern in Western NSW,” Mr Saunders said.

“This program will not only increase the likelihood of survival for people in our region, it will also be a wonderful addition to the health care options available in some of the most remote parts of the state.”

Western NSW Local Health District CEO, Mark Spittal said coordinating delivery of care across partner organisations will help provide improved and tangible outcomes for patients now and into the future.

“The powerful combination of local healthcare services and organisations will help shape how we combat chronic disease in our region into the future,” Mr Spittal said.

Far West Local Health District CEO, Umit Agis said the program will help ensure continued first-class care for patients with Type 2 diabetes, particularly those in rural and remote areas fo the region.

“Effective collaborations in healthcare delivery can mean equality of care and access to that care in spite of location, which, in Western NSW, can mean the difference between quality patient care outcomes and outcomes that are far more serious,” Mr Agis said.

Western NSW Primary Health Network CEO, Andrew Coe said the program’s integration of state and federal service providers will allow provision of care to be tailored to specific communities’ needs.

“Our partner organisations, stakeholders, teams and healthcare professionals on the ground know the region and residents better than anyone, and are proud to be able to bring all of that expertise together,” Mr Coe said.

Rural Doctors Network CEO, Richard Colbran said the landmark agreement will continue improving access to innovative models of care, for both service providers and their patients across the regions.

“This collaboration will support members in unprecedented ways in the delivery of life changing and lifesaving care for their patients in Western and Far West NSW,” Mr Colbran said.

Expressions of interest are being sought from the region’s healthcare providers for their involvement in this highly anticipated initiative, which will be delivered as the Living Better and Stronger – Diabetes Program.

Collaborative Commissioning is one of four of NSW Health’s flagship value-based healthcare initiatives that supports local partnerships to deliver more co-ordinated, patient centred care in the community.