Future health of Lower Clarence

CLARENCE Valley health care advocate John Agnew is hoping an upcoming health forum in Yamba, organised by independent candidate for Clarence, Richie Williamson, will bring some much-needed assistance to securing better health services for communities on the Lower Clarence.

The forum, to be held at the Treelands Drive Community Centre, Yamba, from 10.30am on March 11, aims to bring together representatives of the Northern NSW Local Health Network, local health care providers and members of the community, for a discussion about the health care needs of the Lower River communities, now and into the future.

Mr Agnew, who has been calling for a health care facility for Yamba for years, said he thought four things were needed in the community, including improved dental and mental health services, improved palliative care services and a local dialysis service.

“For elderly people, the worst part of dialysis is the travel, not the treatment, it’s the travelling,” Mr Agnew said.

“The closest service is in Grafton and people from Iluka go to Lismore.”

Mr Agnew said securing better health services for the Lower Clarence was particularly important given the high proportion of elderly residents in the local area’s quickly-expanding population.

Mr Williamson said there had already been strong support for the forum and encouraged anyone interested in improving Lower River health services to come along and share their ideas.

“Every community member has an interest in this because it really will be about our long-term health on the Lower Clarence,” he said.



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