There is a crisis in the availability of allied health services in the Mid Coast. Employers report advertising positions for up to three years without success, while wait times for services can be up to or exceeding 18 months. This has a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of our community.
The shortage in allied health providers and the wait times for services impacts not only children and young people, but all members of the community needing health support, including people living with disability, people living with mental health issues and the ageing.
Over the past twelve months, Mid Coast 4 Kids and its partner organisations, have consulted widely on the issue, and from this consultation a new initiative has emerged – AH202 – Support when we need it – a whole of community approach to addressing the allied health shortage in the region.
With input from a wide range of organisations including, but not limited to NSW Health, MidCoast Council, Taree Universities Campus, Mission Australia, the The University of Newcastle, University of New England, the Department of Social Services and Northcott, we have developed a Strategic Plan to be actioned over the next three years.
This issue is complex and multifaceted, a coordinated, whole of community approach is the only way forward.
Our aim – to make the MidCoast a center for excellence for the training, recruitment and retention of allied health professionals.