Health focus will need to shift to preventative health

Health is the one area that will ever receive a lukewarm response.  People will be passionate and it will either come in the form of praise or backlash.

The Examiner has a responsibility to share both sides – based on the merit of news value. To determine news value is to identify what matters to our readers and the region.

In the past 12 months we have published extensive series on preventative health, Donate Life, research projects from Clifford Craig and key achievements from staff and departments within health.

We have told the stories that stakeholders would probably rather we don’t focus on.

This has included hospital accreditation, recruitment of specialists, locum costs and air conditioning issues in summer.

Most recently the focus of our attention has been on mental health and the emergency department.

At times these issues overlap, but also sit independently of each other when it comes to being an issue.

The campaign to improve inpatient capacity at the Launceston General Hospital was first raised in March 2018.

In July this was escalated to a vigil outside of the emergency department by the union.

On Tuesday, this again was ramped up to include shirts, badges and information handed to the public.

Thankfully on Wednesday morning the Health Department acknowledged the concerns in the form of additional funding for the emergency department.

As highlighted in our preventative health series last year, more needs to be done to stop people getting to the hospital.

We must be looking to long-term investment in health, not just the short-term fixes.

Yes, the additional funding and budgeted upgrades for the LGH is necessary, but more could be done in the prevention sphere.

Fingers crossed we will now see improvement in our emergency department due to adequate resourcing to correct the issues, we can continue to improve mental health services and communication between those involved in the treatment plans and hopefully a stronger emphasis on preventative health in the near future.

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