Driving growth through health

The local healthcare sector is in the spotlight, with a new report highlighting key trends and opportunities, including the development of the new Toowoomba Hospital.

TSBE Health General Manager, Jaden Frame said it was important to discuss both the opportunities and challenges as healthcare is the largest employer in the region.

“This Health 2030 Discussion Paper is important in capturing a snapshot of the current industry, which directly accounts for almost 1 in 5 jobs in Toowoomba,” he said.

It’s expected that Toowoomba’s ageing population will result in an increased demand on health services, with 21% of the region expected to be over 65 by 2036 (compared to 19% in 2018.)

Mr Frame said this is one of the many reasons why the proposed new Toowoomba Hospital at Baillie Henderson campus will benefit the region.

“The paper emphasised the significant economic benefits this will bring, through the development of new services, expansion in capacity and new opportunities for other health and wellbeing services.”

“Job creation would also be enormous through the planning and construction phase of the hospital, which we know is needed post pandemic,” he said.

Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio said it was great to have an in-depth analysis of the local sector which showed its resilience through COVID.

“We know that having a strong healthcare sector is so important to not only care for all our residents, but also to improve our economy as well,” Mayor Antonio said.

A number of shifts were also identified, including a larger focus on prevention rather than diagnosis and treatment in the future.

Mr Frame acknowledged the significance of wellness projects to prevent the onset of diseases.

“We saw businesses activity get involved last year as part of the Westfund Let’s Shape Up Workplace Wellness program which involved a 10,000 Steps challenge.”

“It was great to see the community take such a proactive approach to their wellness and we hope to see more projects like this in the future,” said Mr Frame.

The Discussion Paper ‘Health 2030 – Growing the economy through health’ was funded by the Australian Government through the over $1.28 billion Building Better Regions Fund.

The Australian Government has committed $20,000.

Read the full report here.

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