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SAHS Profile & Health of the Community

About Southern Area Health Service

Southern Area Health Service (SAHS) was established on 16 March 1996 following the amalgamation of Monaro, South Coast and Southern Tablelands district health services. The amalgamation was an acknowledgment by both the health industry and successive governments of the complexities of modern health care, and that in rural areas, health needs can only be met by working together, sharing skills, facilities and recognising our interdependence.

The area health service currently operates under the Health Service Act 1997 which came into effect on 1 July 1998. The primary objective of this Act is to improve the delivery of services by the public health system in NSW. The Act formally recognises rural area health services. In 1997, a new management structure was established and a strategic planning process was commenced. In 2000, the management structure was further reviewed and reduced in size from nine to six members.

SAHS has an estimated population of approximately 181,704 (as of June 1997) persons and covers an area of 52,214 square kilometres in South Eastern NSW surrounding the ACT. This extends from Crookwell in the north to the Victorian border in the south, from Young and the Snowy River in the west and from Batemans Bay along the coastal strip to Victoria. Its borders are shared with ACT Health, Greater Murray Area Health Service to the west, South Western Sydney Area Health Service to the north and Illawarra Area Health Service to the north east.

The area health service consists of 16 local government areas (LGA) which have been divided into six planning divisions:
Eurobodalla Planning Division
Eurobodalla Shire
Bega Valley Planning Division
Bega Valley Shire
Monaro Planning Division
Cooma Monaro, Snowy River & Bombala Shires
Southern Tablelands Planning Division
Goulburn City, Crookwell, Gunning & Mulwaree Shires
Southern Slopes Planning Division
Young, Boorowa, Harden & Yass Shires
QTY Planning Division
Queanbeyan City, Yarrowlumla & Tallaganda Shires
These planning divisions also reflect the SAHS health council boundaries.

The SAHS, Area Health Plan - Strategic Directions, 1999 - 2004 was completed in 1999 and widely distributed across the area. The plan contains our four goals and 10 strategic directions. The identified strategies will help us to achieve our goals and meet performance agreement targets. The availability of this document enhances and strengthens the planning process and is a reference for the development of future health services. The plan provides a framework that is accessible to both internal and external stakeholders.

Services Available

A range of services are delivered by 16 hospitals, two multipurpose services, 20 community health centres and 28 outreach centres. Not all facilities provide the same service or level of service. The area health service does not have the capacity or resources to provide complex tertiary services. Patients requiring this level of care will generally be transferred to a facility in the ACT or Sydney.

Services can be provided on an overnight, day only or community based basis.
Overnight, day only or community based services are provided in the following way:
Overnight includes: some surgical procedures, general medical care, emergency care, respite care, obstetric care, mental health care, palliative care and pain management.
Day only includes: some surgical procedures, rehabilitation, diagnostic testing, outpatients, emergency care, day care, mental health care and clinics.
Community based includes: hospital in the Home, Early Discharge Program - obstetrics, community health programs, domiciliary nursing, palliative care, mental health care and clinics.
Service details are available from local hospitals or community health centres.

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