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Meander Valley receives $590,000 federal grant for regional health services.

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Meander Valley Receives $590,000 Federal Grant For

Regional Health Services

Wednesday, 6 August 2003

Residents of the Meander Valley Region will soon have access to a greater range of flexible medical services closer to home through a new $590,000 Regional Health Service announced by Senator Guy Barnett today.

Funded under the Australian Government’s Regional Health Services Program, the Meander Valley Region will receive the grant in instalments over the next three years to provide a range of services including health promotion, youth health, social health, and counselling.

“I am delighted the Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Kay Patterson, has approved this funding, which paves the way for a more comprehensive and flexible range of health care services in the region,” Senator Barnett said.

“These will be incorporated with existing services, ensuring a more comprehensive range of services to people living in isolated communities in the area.

“This funding will also enhance cooperative arrangements between health care providers in the region,” Senator Barnett said.

The Australian Government’s Regional Health Services Program aims to help rural communities identify local health priorities and develop and support services that meet local needs.

The grant to the State Government will provide for a full time Youth Health and Development worker based at Westbury, and a social worker to provide outreach services for small towns through to the western end of the municipality. Both officers will work in conjunction with the Westbury Community Health Centre.

The Regional Health Services Program is a key feature of the Australian Government’s focus on rural health, which endeavours to improve the range of health care services and strengthen the health workforce in rural communities across Australia. Since 1996, approximately $2 billion has been spent on targeted rural health and aged care initiatives nationally.