We ask the question: What can we do locally to keep vibrantly healthy, relying only on local resources?
The answers are exciting, and open up a rich vein of possibilities for most of us to be a lot healthier at a lot lower cost.
At the same time, it raises the question: What will cause people to move away from relying on health professionals to fix up their disease towards taking responsibility for preventing themselves getting sick, aiming instead to lead vibrantly healthy lifestyles?
We take note of the vulnerability of our national and state-funded health systems, our global pharmaceutical industry, and our health insurance systems to the global financial sector and energy shocks.
The model of health based on treating disease is costing the nation more than it will be able to afford as population grows and ages.We are getting warnings from this sector that we will have to take increasing responsibility for our own health and focus on more local solutions. Medicare Locals are an approach to this.
To promote vibrant healthiness locally, we take a number of approaches:
- collect together a large 'library' of links to health information that can be applied locally to stay healthy
- organised a local Healthy Lifestyles Expo in partnership with Metro North Medicare Local and QLD Health
- initiate health self-management groups locally
- support weight-reduction initiatives
- provide links to on-line health information services
- seek to identify local health hazards and disease clusters
- establish priorities based on local health promotion
- encourage residents to become actively involved in the local community
- identify critical health issues locally such as transport to appointments, or carer support
- identify plants with medicinal and healing properties that grow readily locally
- fund-raise to purchase health equipment for local use
- provide a community directory of local health practitioners
- seek to bring together local health service providers and residents around issues of local health
- participate on community consultation committees and regional health forums
- build a register of local residents who are trained healthcare professionals as a resilience resource in case of major emergency.