How to support people to have better health outcomes was the focus of a health symposium this week.
Held as part of anticipatory care project Our Community, Our Care, the event brought together a range of health researchers and community workers to explore future collaboration between the people and organisations working in health-related projects in the northern suburbs.
The project's senior research fellow Dr Susan Banks said discussions had moved far beyond just "medical health", to ensuring communities had the capacity to improve their outcomes.
"It's about health more broadly. So not just the idea of medical health, GPs and so on, but other things that support people to have better health now and into the future," she said.
"We are at the point now where communities are doing their own thing. They are running projects they want to do, to see if they make a difference to the system. The participants are reaching out to a whole range of places we didn't expect."
The Northern Suburbs have been identified as having higher than average Tasmanian rates of diabetes, smoking, being overweight or obese and physical inactivity, along with higher rates of potentially preventable hospitalisations.
Since being launched earlier this year, the Our Community Our Care project has worked to identify what needs to change to improve the region's health outcomes, with the support of UTAS researchers.
At Wednesday's symposium speakers included Maria Unwin, whose research revealed an over-represent number of people presenting at the Launceston General Hospital emergency department with non-urgent conditions live in the northern suburbs.
With the goal of fostering greater collaboration between health service providers, academics and the community, Dr Banks said the project was ensuring the most time and cost-effective projects were supported.
"If you just keep coming in with grand plans and then disappear, that can be very disruptive and the good you have done is often packed away. People who live here in the Northern Suburbs are already doing the most amazing stuff. But there is a real sense ... that if only communities do more, everything will be great.
"But I live in a wealthy community and there is no expectation my community will do more - we just get stuff. But these communities are constantly asked to show how much they can do for themselves. I think that is a really problematic approach."