Townsville City Council Healthy Cities Plan
One of the commitments in the Policy 2000 document was to undertake an assessment of Public Health service provision and associated infrastructure in Townsville. This assessment, referred to as Healthy Cities is being coordinated by TCC Environmental Health with assistance from TCC Community Services.
Healthy Cities addresses the extent to which community needs in the provision of health care are being met in Townsville. In order to answer this question, Council, in conjunction with Griffith University, are undertaking extensive consultation with Government, Community and business groups in Townsville.
These discussions are coordinated through 'focus groups'. Focus groups have included a range of specific issues some of which include the elderly, youth, women, disability, mental health, and ethnic groups. Consultation has also extended to the Have Your Say Group, a established point of reference for Council on Community views.
One outcome of the process is a Gap Analysis, an assessment of the gaps or holes in the provision of health services.
Assisting in the development of the plan are Griffith University (GU). GU has experience in developing Healthy City plans, having assisted numerous Queensland Local Authorities in planning the provision of health services.
Consultations on the plan have been underway over the past twelve months. A draft plan is anticipated around June 2003, with the final report sometime thereafter.
To date four main themes have emerged under which are sub-themes. These include:
Healthy Environment: environmental protection, landuse, vector control, animal control, control of nuisances, parks and public areas, safe communities.
Healthy Lifestyles: healthy physical activity, nutrition and body weight, sun safety, disease prevention.
Healthy Communities: hospital and medical needs, special needs, families.
Healthy Partnerships: community building, collaboration and coordination.
Community workshops will continue to refine the scope of the Healthy Cities plan. However, what is becoming apparent is that Townsville community continues to associate health issues with the protection of the environment. Important components of environmental health, then, are such issues as stormwater management, water quality, biodiversity protection and other green issues.