Western Queensland Primary Health Network (WQPHN)

Royal Flying Doctor Service part of developing Healthy Outback Communities

Date published

21 May 2024

Having access to a local doctor or pharmacy is something many Queenslanders take for granted which is why the recent launch of Healthy Outback Communities (HOC) Alliance is so important.

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Unveiled by the Western Queensland Primary Health Network (WQPHN) with the help of Mental Health Ambassador and former NRL player Darius Boyd, the HOC concept is about prioritizing prevention and detection of illness, improving access to health and wellbeing services, reducing the need for hospital visits while working to prevent long-term health issues.

CEO of the WQPHN Sandy Gillies said the launch of the new initiative is to ensure people are getting the right care at the right time, closer to home.

“HOC is a community-driven model of care so we are thrilled to see locals already embracing this program at its launch,” Ms. Gillies said.

“These are tiny towns, some with as few as 100 residents and yet we saw a steady stream of Windorah townsfolk, plus those who’d travelled several hours from neighbouring towns and properties to find out what this new model of health and wellbeing is all about.”

RFDS (Queensland Section) CEO Meredith Staib said the new integrated approach which involves a virtual Health and Wellbeing hub, will help deliver better patient outcomes.

“The RFDS has been providing vital telehealth and Primary Health Care (PHC) services in Queensland for many years and the development of the HOC initiative will help deliver positive change,” Ms. Staib said.

“The RFDS mantra is to deliver the Finest Care to the Furthest Corner, and we see programs such as this as vital to bridging the gap between the health services enjoyed in bigger regional centres and those in remote parts of the state.”

The WQPHN is the lead agency operating the new HOC program in conjunction with Barcoo and Boulia Shire Councils, Central West Hospital and Health Service, CheckUP, Health Workforce Queensland, Health Consumers Queensland, Queensland Reform Office, and the RFDS(Queensland Section).

Read more about the Healthy Outback Communities program here