A GROWING but ageing population and an increase in chronic diseases are two of the challenges that will be addressed in a new health plan.
And locals are being invited to have their say.
Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) is seeking comment on a draft Bathurst Clinical Services Plan that is looking at the health of the city and its surrounds for the next decade.
"The Clinical Services Plan looks at the community's evolving needs and how services could best be configured in the next 10 years to respond to those needs," WNSWLHD's Health Intelligence Unit director Maryanne Hawthorn said.
"Our process has clearly identified some important and emerging issues for the Bathurst region.
"We have a population that is growing but also ageing, and there is an increase in chronic diseases.
"We have several vulnerable populations, including Aboriginal people, people in prison, and people with disabilities.
"Among young people, there is an increasing number who are also considered vulnerable."
Addressing these challenges, according to Ms Hawthorn, will mean developing hospital services "and looking at how we can work together to keep people healthy and out of hospital".
"This can include encouraging healthier lifestyles and finding better ways to manage chronic conditions in the community through provision of hospital-like care at home, clinic-based services and using technology to monitor health conditions and improve access to health services," she said.
"Strengthening partnerships with other organisations such as local government, non-government service providers and the community itself will also have a positive impact."
Residents have until January 10 to comment on the draft Bathurst Clinical Services Plan.
A summary of the draft plan is available at www.wnswlhd.health.nsw.gov.au.
The budget for the Bathurst Health Service in 2019/20 is more than $80.6 million, according to WNSWLHD.