Local health input wanted

IF you have ever grumbled about health services in your area, now is the time to step up and add your voice to regional primary health planning.

Murray Primary Health Network is advertising for community members and health practitioners to join one of four community advisory councils or the region-wide clinical advisory council.

Murray PHN chief executive officer, Matt Jones says that advisory councils provide key advice and recommendations that can influence primary health service priorities.

"Effective change in primary health care is achieved through building relationships, exchanging knowledge, and looking for new and better ways to improve health and health outcomes," he said.

"The expertise of our advisory council members and their local knowledge helps us to make health improvements that are tailored to the specific needs of local communities."

There are 41 memberships available, each for a two-year appointment period, with meetings held in Mildura, Shepparton, Albury and Bendigo. This is Murray PHN's second round of advisory council appointments, with the expiry of the inaugural councils' terms on June 30.

"We are looking for people across our region with strong local networks so that we can reach as much of our population as possible. We have been fortunate in the past to attract advisory council members with the ability to identify local health needs, provide advice and make recommendations and I am sure we will do so again."

Apart from the opportunity to join an advisory council, Mr Jones encouraged citizens to register to become a member of the Murray PHN Health Voices panel, an online community that gets asked health questions monthly.

"You can help us with local information and advice online, at any time that suits you. We have already learnt a great deal from our Voices but we want to hear more," he said.

Murray PHN, is one of 31 Commonwealth-funded PHNs around Australia tasked with improving the local primary health care system. The Murray PHN region covers almost 100,000 square kilometres from Mildura, south to Woodend, across to Seymour and north to Albury in New South Wales.

Applications for advisory council membership close on Sunday, July 22. For full details and to apply, go to:

http://www.murrayphn.org.au/about/advisory-councils

To join Murray Health Voices, complete the online registration form at: http://www.murrayphn.org.au/healthvoices

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