Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Our View (1-8-2017): Better health is up to all of us

LAST week we ran a special feature aiming to start the conversation about how locals can be healthier and our health services, and staff, can be better supported.

We have received a good deal of feedback and will continue investigating the issues raised. Some people pointed out the reporting was quite negative.

They are correct.

There is no way to put a positive spin on statistics which reveal Yorke Peninsula has the state’s highest rates of heart disease, cancer and other major health problems. Even trying would be irresponsible.

As for the second main story, about the Northern Yorke Peninsula Health Advisory Committee report which has been presented to Minister for Health Jack Snelling, of course that article was negative. The report was based on concerns raised at last year’s public meeting and the whole point was to tell the government which areas need improvement.

Now those stories have helped ensure the spotlight is on health, it’s important to note there is a lot of positivity to be found. This week’s paper focuses on numerous examples of health initiatives, from upskilling local staff to the launch of a survey to better understand eating habits.

It’s one thing to ask for more funding and support for health services and, by extension, those who are sick.

But let’s face it, people also need to look after their own health. In many cases lifestyle factors contribute to these poor health outcomes. Wouldn’t it be a good idea for people to look after themselves and avoid getting sick in the first place?

Of course, that is not aimed at the many, many people with illnesses and ailments beyond their control. Surely those people would agree — those lucky enough not to have such illnesses should not take their health for granted, and should instead do what it takes to stay healthy.

Nick Perry, Editor
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