Regional, rural or remote areas with small or dispersed populations can lack adequate numbers of medical services to appropriately respond to health issues and emergencies in the community. Various factors can contribute to this situation,  including the difficulty recruiting and retaining workers, a lack of funding for positions, or a lack of facilities. Over the years WALGA has been approached by regional Local Governments to advocate for greater support for health services in their regions.

WALGA Local Government Regional Health Services Survey and Report 2018

All regional areas in WA were surveyed in early 2018, to determine the extent of their challenges, and how Local Governments would like WALGA to assist. A report of this survey was presented to State Council in September 2018, and recommendations included working with affected Local Governments and key stakeholders to address solutions to these challenges. The report is located here.

WALGA Regional Health Services Event - February 2019

In early 2019 WALGA hosted an event which aimed to provide a starting point to address these concerns, bringing together affected Local Governments to hear about current and future priorities for the primary health agencies which operate in their area, and encourage greater partnership and collaboration between Local Government and primary health. The event featured presentations from the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA), the Aboriginal Health Council of WA, Rural Health West, and St John Ambulance WA, and interactive sessions provided an opportunity for attendees to speak directly with representatives of these organisations.

The presentations from the event are available below:

A link to a video recording of the event is available here.

WALGA and NEWROC Wheatbelt Regional Health Services Forum - September 2019

In September 2019, WALGA and NEWROC held a Wheatbelt Regional Health Services Forum with Wheatbelt Local Governments. The Forum was held with key service providers and stakeholders; WA Country Health Service, St John Ambulance, WA Primary Health Alliance, Royal Flying Doctor Service and Regional Development Australia. WALGA guided a workshop with attendees to develop local solutions. A summary report of the event outcomes and recommendations is available here which was endorsed by WALGA State Council in December 2019.

The presentations from the forum are available below:

Inquiry into the Delivery of Ambulance Services in Western Australia

On 17 June 2021 the Standing Committee on Public Administration (Committee) commenced an inquiry into the delivery of ambulance services in Western Australia. The inquiry’s terms of reference are as follows:
a) how 000 ambulance calls are received, assessed, prioritised and despatched in the metropolitan area and in the regions
b) the efficiency and adequacy of the service delivery model of ambulance services in metropolitan and regional areas of Western Australia
c) whether alternative service delivery models in other jurisdictions would better meet the needs of the community
d) any other matters considered relevant by the Committee.

WALGAs Submission to the Inquiry into Delivery of Ambulance Services in Western Australia can be viewed here.

The Committee received 123 written submissions, including a submission from WALGA, and conducted 32 hearings between 21 September and 1 December 2021.
The final report was released 19 May 2022. The Minster for Health will respond to the report recommendations by 19 July 2022.