06/04/2021 | Stephen Wade MLC | Better Services

South Australians can have their say on health matters that are important to them, with consultation on the future of women’s, children and youth health services now open.

The summary framework of the Women’s, Child and Youth Health Plan 2021-2031 has been developed following significant consultation with consumers and clinicians over the last 12 months and is now open for public feedback.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said that as populations and demographics evolve, particularly in growth areas such as Adelaide’s northern suburbs, health services need to do the same.

“The needs of our South Australians are changing, and we want to ensure we have a health system that appropriately supports women, children and youth today, as well as into the future,” said Minister Wade.

“The health system needs to be dynamic, so we can continue to provide the best care possible to our patients and consumers.

“Labor’s Transforming Health failure saw a hospital closed, emergency departments downgraded and the quality of healthcare compromised.

“We are fixing this by delivering massive upgrades of hospitals across Adelaide so that people can access the health care they need, closer to home.

“Projections indicate that Adelaide’s northern suburbs, Gawler, and Mount Barker will be the areas of the highest population growth over the next 10 years. We need to plan for these changes in health service demand as we structure our health services to meet the needs of the community over the next decade and beyond.”

Over half of South Australia’s population are women, with approximately 374,600 children and young people under 18 years. Statistics show there are approximately 20,000 births in South Australia each year.

Southern Adelaide Local Health Network’s Clinical Director of Women’s and Children’s Division, Dr John Widger, said while meeting the needs of the changing population is a priority, the Women’s, Child and Youth Health Plan 2021-2031 will also focus on improving areas of poor outcomes.

“For the majority of people, our health system works extremely well and provides the right care where and when it’s needed,” Dr Widger said.

“However, we also know there are groups of people who continue to consistently experience sub-optimal health outcomes.

“We want to hear from our community about their experiences with the South Australian health system, and specifically to the approach outlined in the plan, to help us address these health inequalities.

“Our aim is to provide a health system to fully support all South Australians to receive the care they need at every stage of their life.”

To view the Women’s, Child and Youth Health Plan 2021-2031 summary framework and to provide feedback, visit sahealth.sa.gov.au.