In 2011 Clarence residents were surveyed about their health and wellbeing, and some residents reported that they had difficulty accessing GPs (doctors), especially bulk billing practices.
Clarence City Council has set up a Community Health and Wellbeing Advisory Committee to take action to improve the health and wellbeing of Clarence residents through 3 working groups. The groups are looking at livability and the environment, information and communication, and health promotion. Our Health Promotion Working Group has been working on a project to understand more about who is having trouble accessing GPs, investigating whether some people are more vulnerable and looking into what barriers prevent access. This involved a literature review, distributing a small postcard asking people questions about accessing GP services, as well as conducting more involved interviews with residents.
This information has been collated into a Report.
Four key areas of difficulty have been identified with community members finding challenges with service availability, barriers to utilising services, the relevance and effectiveness of the care provided and equity in gaining access to these services.
The report identifies opportunities for community and health service providers to join Council in overcoming the current challenges faced when accessing a GP.
To start addressing these challenges, Council is seeking the support and ideas of individuals and health service providers in Clarence to identify and implement priority actions to:
- Build community understanding and knowledge of what services are available and where they are located;
- Train consumers to be confident to ask their health questions as they make their way through the system;
- Educate and develop individuals to become ‘health champions’ who can help others understand and navigate the health care system.
Now that we have a record of people’s experiences, the working group will work with GPs, government and residents to explore solutions. We are looking for people from local health services, community services, and residents to be part of our Help to Health solution.
Are you interested in connecting in with the project? Please fill out your details on the following form: