MLHD takes screening services to women in isolated areas

A new program is taking health screening services to women in rural and remote NSW communities.

GETtING MOBILE: Nurse Heather Jamieson, client Martha Baird from Hay, nurse manager of Hay Health Service, Tracey Jubb and Veronica Ward, women's health nurse team leader.

GETtING MOBILE: Nurse Heather Jamieson, client Martha Baird from Hay, nurse manager of Hay Health Service, Tracey Jubb and Veronica Ward, women's health nurse team leader.

As the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) prepares to celebrate Women’s Health Week from September 4 to 8, mobile screening clinics have taken their services to Aboriginal and rural and remote communities in Lake Cargelligo, Hillston and Hay, which are part of the Western LHD.

The clinics were delivered over two days by two nurses and the services provided included cervical screening, breast health awareness, sexually transmitted infection screening and education and referrals pertaining to women’s health issues.

Sending the vans to isolated and rural communities is part of a goal to combat what the MLHD has identified as groups of women who experience “health inequities” after a review of priority groups.

The program’s goal is to improve the health and well-being of these priority groups, whilst at the same time increase the uptake rates of cervical screening in those women who have previously been under-screened or never had the chance for screening at all.

Veronica Ward, the women's health nurse team leader, said five of the mobile women’s health clinics were linked to a mobile breast screening van, giving the women in these communities the option of having both procedures on the same day.

“Being able to take our mobile screening services across the rural and remote communities of MLHD has been very satisfying –women are able to have these services provided in their own town,” Ms Ward said.

“The mobile clinics have been very well received with positive feedback from all rural communities.”

To celebrate Women’s Health Week, the nurses have organised a women’s business workshop, which will be held at Lake Cargelligo Boat Club, between 10am and 2pm on Wednesday, September 6.

Being staged as part of a push to forge links with the women in this community, the workshop, which has the backing of the Jean Hailes women’s health organisation, will deliver information sessions on women’s health issues, including domestic violence.

There will also be a relaxation activity involving some painting and morning tea will be provided.