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Health indicator improvements for Central West

Tuesday 1 December 2020

News_CWHHS CHO Report
News_CWHHS CHO Report

A new state-wide health report shows Central West Queensland has recorded reductions in the rates of adult smoking, obesity and risky alcohol consumption.

The rates remain higher than the state average but lower than when the last report was released in 2018.

The Chief Health Officer’s report – the Health of Queenslanders – is released once every two years and uses many data sources to create a snapshot of public health in Queensland and the individual health services.

Central West Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Jane Hancock said 12 per cent of adults smoked daily and 31 per cent self-reported as having an unhealthy weight according to the latest report.

“A total of 28 per cent also reported consuming alcohol at lifetime risky levels,’’ she said.

“Although these percentages are all higher than the state average they are reductions on the levels reported in 2018.

“In 2018, 20 per cent of Central West residents reported that they smoked daily and 36 per cent reported being obese.

“In addition, while the number of Central West adults who engaged in lifetime risky drinking behaviours was 31 per cent higher than the state average in the 2020 report, this was an improvement on the 53 per cent higher than the state average recorded in the 2018 report.’’

In other good news, the 2020 Chief Health Officer’s report found more than 96 per cent of one, two and five-year-old children in the Central West were fully immunised in 2019, compared to between 92 and 94 per cent for Queensland as a whole.

The number of babies born prematurely in the Central West also was 2 per cent lower than for Queensland as a whole.

Ms Hancock said a new indicator in the 2020 CHO Report showed that the proportion of Central West residents who had reported five or more mentally unhealthy days in the previous month was 30 per cent lower than the state average.

“So, it’s a mix of good news and bad news. The good news is that our unhealthy lifestyle behaviours generally are improving but our rates are still higher than the state average,’’ she said.

“All these risky behaviours pose a significant challenge for our health service, as they do for all health services and they do increase the pressure on our services.’’

Ms Hancock said residents should consider how risk factors such as unhealthy eating, physical inactivity, smoking and alcohol consumption were impacting on their health and lifestyle.

“Unhealthy and risky behaviours can and do lead to potentially preventable hospitalisations and premature deaths,’’ she said.

“Here in the Central West, 37 per cent of all deaths are identified as being lifestyle related, which is a significant proportion.

“But you don’t have to accept these unhealthy lifestyle behaviours. You have the power to make changes and we can help you if you genuinely want to do so.

“I encourage everyone to be more active, eat healthier and make small behavioural changes to improve their health.

“We recognise this can be difficult. Fortunately, there are several programs available to help people lose weight, develop healthier eating habits, get more active, quit smoking and drink less alcohol.

“It’s everyone’s responsibility to take care of their health and working with your GP or local health service is an excellent place to start.

“We’re here to help you.

“You can also use the State Government’s Healthier. Happier. campaign to help you perform an honest assessment of your diet and lifestyle and find ways to improve your health.

“On the Healthier. Happier. website, there’s a new program called Happy Health Habit Selector where you can pick three things you like doing out of a range of options and the website will deliver more information and tips about those activities.

“Using the Happy Healthy Habits selector at the Healthier. Happier. website is a great way to start and it’s easy. It has quick and easy healthy recipes, home workout tips and much more..

“And in July 2019, the State Government established Health and Wellbeing Queensland to improve the health and wellbeing of all Queenslanders and reduce health inequities.

“The organisation works with partners to reduce risk factors that lead to chronic diseases, so make sure you check out their website.’’

Some links:

ENDS

For further information contact:

James Guthrie
Principal Media Officer, Rural and Remote Qld
Media and Communication
Department of Health
(07) 3708 5379

Jim.Guthrie@health.qld.gov.au

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Last updated: 2 December 2020