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Residents of the Cobar Shire will have the opportunity to have their say on local health priorities with the launch of an online health needs survey.

Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) in partnership with the Western and Far West Local Health Districts is conducting the comprehensive survey of community views about health priorities and health service improvements.

“The online survey is the latest part of a wider review of health priorities and service gaps in our region,” WNSW PHN CEO Andrew Harvey said.

“A telephone survey of 3,000 residents and consultation sessions with community members and healthcare providers in Broken Hill, Dubbo, Orange and Bourke have also been held.”

The online survey, which can be found at www.wnswphn.org.au, includes questions on where people believe there are gaps or shortcomings in healthcare services, what they consider to be the biggest health concerns facing their community and what improvements are needed.

The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and any personal details provided will remain confidential.

“I would encourage everyone to complete the survey and tell us about their needs and expectations around primary healthcare so we can work together to improve health outcomes for everyone,” Mr Harvey said.

“The community consultations, which included specific sessions for the Aboriginal community, and the GP sessions have already provided us with valuable information on health needs in our region.”

“Issues around access to services were raised including distance to travel and cost of specialist services. Men’s health and the important role men play in raising children and supporting health families.”

Health service providers have also highlighted the need for better coordination and information sharing between services to support people in the community with complex health needs.

“Aboriginal health is a key priority and the information that came out of the Aboriginal health sessions was fantastic including the need for services that are led and informed by Aboriginal community, culture, values and connection to the country which provide a holistic and culturally safe experience.”

The health needs survey for Western NSW can be found at www.wnswphn.org.au.