Formation of a small committee to guide the ‘community led’ approach to health services in the local area has begun.
A second round of community meetings has seen Edward River Council Mayor Norm Brennan appointed to lead the committee.
Other representatives expected to be officially inducted to the committee at the next meeting include Deniliquin doctor Marion Magee, Deniliquin Mental Health Awareness Group president Julie Mullins, and youth representative Olivia Duffey.
A representative from both MLHD and the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network will also form part of the committee.
Its first task will be to develop terms of reference to guide the future of health services in Deniliquin.
It is expected to include an investigation into calls for a major overhaul of health facilities, which may include Deniliquin Hospital upgrades or an entirely new hospital.
Kama Jennings, who attended the community meetings, said it was pleasing to see people coming together to make decisions around what the community needs and how to increase satisfaction with local services.
‘‘Discussions were not just about the hospital, but about the community and mental health services,’’ Ms Jennings said.
‘‘There will be an application process to ensure the committee represents the broader Deniliquin community and this will include young people, people with a disability, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community and others.
‘‘I feel that everyone genuinely wants to contribute to positive change and that will allow for better planning, help to address community health needs and give the community access to informed decisions about funding services and projects.
‘‘I hope this process clarifies a way forward because access to mental health services, accessibility of all health services and availability of service providers is lacking in Deniliquin.’’