• Tony Bosworth

We're near the top of the list for major ailments - Healthy Hawkesbury podcast shows positives

Updated: Apr 15



The Hawkesbury has much higher rates of circulatory and chronic respiratory disease compared to metropolitan areas, as well as higher cancer rates than the New South Wales average, and we’re on course to have the highest incidence of bowel cancer, as well as the fourth-highest incidence of melanoma in the State.


Sobering facts indeed but a new fortnightly podcast launched by Hawkesbury District Health Service (HDHS) is aimed not only at helping residents understand the issues, but also highlighting the positives – including the high level of medical expertise in our area.


The first episode – Trouble Catching a Breath? – looks at what shortness of breath might indicate and how doctors often work together to solve problems. The series also includes an episode - Cancer perspectives in the Hawkesbury – that provides insight into the cancer journey through the eyes of a local GP, a cancer surgeon and an advocate and survivor.


The episode explores initiatives like local cancer support group Pink Finns, access to primary care services, Hawkesbury hospital’s satellite chemotherapy clinic and the hospital’s renowned expertise in thyroid and breast surgery.


The Healthy Hawkesbury series will explore many of the challenges unique to our region, with a particular focus on health issues identified by the region’s Primary Health Network (PHN).


The series, hosted by local General Practitioners (GPs), Allied Health professionals and invited guests including Hawkesbury’s leading surgeons, physicians and community advocates, gives listeners a holistic view of diagnosis and treatment.


Expert medical advice in the Hawkesbury is readily available. Pic: Gustavo Fring


HDHS Chief Executive Officer Strephon Billinghurst said the PHN data had enabled the podcast series to target both GPs in the area and the broader community.


“We know for example, that our district has markedly higher rates of circulatory and chronic respiratory disease compared to those in metropolitan areas,” said Mr Billinghurst.


“The Hawkesbury region also has higher cancer rates than the New South Wales average, and we are set to have the highest incidence of bowel cancer, as well as the fourth-highest incidence of melanoma in the State.”


“At the same time, we have the expertise and the services to provide the community with excellent care. Our podcast series enables us to provide a 360 approach to treatments and share information about access to care both in our facility and further afield.”


Hosts include well-known local GPs Dr Tony Rombola, Dr Michael Crampton and Dr Rory Webb and HDHS Deputy Director of Community and Allied Health Services, Tina Thew.


“This is a great forum to present local health professionals in conversation talking about what matters most to our community,” said Dr Michael Crampton, who as well as being a Windsor GP for over 23 years, is also the Integrating Care Clinical Lead for Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network.


Hawkesbury-based medical specialists are on call for any medical issue. Pic: Karolina Grabowska



“From the latest innovations and treatments to the ailments that are particularly prevalent in the Hawkesbury – we cover all range of topics. We also address the unique challenges recently experienced by our community, from floods, bush fires and COVID-19,” Dr Crampton said.


Board chair of Wentworth Healthcare, provider of the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network and local GP of 25 years, Dr Tony Rombola said the podcast series was an important way for HDHS to connect with local GPs and the community.


"To ensure regional communities have access to excellent healthcare, it is imperative that local health professionals work together effectively. This podcast series demonstrates the strong professional relationships, which exist in the Hawkesbury area.


The series also informs our community about relevant health issues, new procedures and emerging services, and how to access the right care within our region."


The 'Healthy Hawkesbury' podcast airs fortnightly and is available for download by visiting https://www.sjog.org.au/our-locations/hawkesbury-district-healthservice/news/podcasts



Main pic: Anna Tarazevich



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