January 18, 2018
The Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN is responsible for covering more than 95,500 km2 across 10 local government areas. The Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN region covers the major communities of Ipswich and Toowoomba, plus the surrounding rural communities of the Lockyer Valley, Boonah (Scenic Rim), Esk (Somerset), South Burnett, Southern Downs, Goondiwindi and the Western Downs.
Total population is just over 540,000 people, with an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population of approximately 20,000 people. Total population growth across the Darling Downs and West Moreton region is projected at approximately 10%.
The large land mass and geographically dispersed population base provides a number of significant challenges for the equitable delivery of health care. These factors will significantly impact on future health needs and health service delivery.
Demographically, the key issues facing the PHN are the high population growth rate and the high proportion of the population aged 65 years and over. There are also significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally and linguistically diverse population groups within the region.
Chronic disease prevalence rates in the region are all higher than the state averages and the health behaviours of the population are generally below the state averages with weight, diet, physical inactivity and smoking our key challenges. The premature mortality rates for all disease groups are significantly above the state premature mortality rates.
The Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN is committed to working with Primary Health Care providers to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of medical services for patients, particularly those at risk of poor health outcomes; and improving coordination of care to ensure patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time.