My question is for the Minister for Health.
Minister, yesterday you announced the establishment of an expert task force to identify ways to strengthen the role of Victoria’s community health sector.
Can you please advise how regional community health centres, such as Primary Care Connect in my electorate of Shepparton district, will be consulted on this very important issue?
Numerous reports have found that when it comes to health outcomes and access to health services, rural populations in Victoria suffer from a disproportionate levels of disadvantage, including higher mortality rates and lower life expectancy; higher reported rates of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity; higher death rates from chronic disease; higher rates of dementia; and higher rates of alcohol and drug abuse and smoking. Community health organisations such as Primary Care Connect and others in my electorate are essential primary care services in our regions. Frontline workers and their staff are ideally placed to assist the task force to identify a shared vision and priorities for the sector.