The Country Women's Association Nowra branch has launched its annual campaign, with the aim of raising awareness about the gap between healthcare services in regional and metro areas.
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CWA Awareness Week, which runs from September 1 to 8, provides branches with the opportunity to acknowledge and raise awareness of their work in the community and give other women a taste of the organisation.
Nowra president Julie Morris said the regional healthcare was of great concern, not only to the branch, but to the wider community.
“Country people are sick of being treated like second class citizens,” she said.
“For too long the needs of rural and regional communities have been ignored and the inequity has grown, to the point where many of these towns, and even our regional cities, are facing a health care crisis.”
This year’s awareness week campaign calls for improvement in a number of key areas, including:
Ms Morris said the reduced access to services in the Shoalhaven was unacceptable.
"For too long rural and regional communities have seen local hospitals lose the likes of vital maternity services and they've struggled to access drug and alcohol support facilities,” she said.
“Now many smaller hospitals don't even keep blood products onsite."
Ms Morris said concerns about healthcare services in regional and rural areas were the catalyst for the formation of the CWA all those years ago.
“It's an issue we've been lobbying on ever since,” she said.
“This awareness week we want to highlight the inequalities that still exist and push for the policy and funding changes that will lead to real improvements in the lives of country families.”
As part of CWA awareness week, the Nowra branch will be open Friday, September 7 between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.
Shoalhaven women interested in joining the Nowra branch should contact 4423 0992 or 4446 6037.
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