Health Needs and Priorities in South Australia

When we think of what it means to be ‘healthy’ or what it means to focus on our ‘wellbeing’, as individuals these concepts are generally part of the same conversation.  But what happens when the system that is there to diagnose, treat and support us, sees them as two separate elements?

 

South Australia has an ageing population, with just under a quarter of our entire population living in rural or remote locations.  We know what factors will lead adults and children to have a greater prevalence of certain diseases.  We know that our Aboriginal population has a significantly younger age profile, higher rates of developing chronic diseases and longer periods of hospitalisation. We also know that our community members that come from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds have specific needs that don’t currently have a policy framework to action or monitor their care.

But how do we design and deliver solutions that do more than acknowledge these facts?  How do we help people to live better, healthier lives and reverse these trends that are currently known to be true?

In a first of its kind, the Fay Fuller Foundation has commissioned a piece of research that looks into the health needs and priorities in South Australia.  Delivered by the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and The Australian Centre for Social Innovation, this research is designed to take a holistic snapshot of the health system in South Australia.  Looking at the data on health trends and outcomes, as well as a population survey and in-depth interviews, a view of where needs are and how they are being addressed can start to be formed.  In addition, an overlaying map that covers government target outcomes, overarching policies and plans and where funding is increasing or decreasing, visualises the key stakeholders across the South Australian health system.

This research was not designed to dive deep into any one health issue or provide answers as to why particular health needs and priorities exist.  Instead, it provides the facts around population health information, as well as insight into how people interact with the health system.  As we all strive to provide better outcomes, knowing the data and a view from the individual to population allows us to create better solutions with the people whose lives we are trying to impact.

To better inform and influence a system, one needs to know who is in it, and how it works.  The Fay Fuller Foundation believes that this research is an important step in providing transparency to all of the individuals, groups and stakeholders trying to improve health outcomes in South Australia.  We encourage you to download the report and map and invite any feedback on how this research can inform solutions that improve the health system in South Australia.

Stacey Thomas, CEO, Fay Fuller Foundation