This Medicare Local had just been established and needed to identify its service and program priorities over the short to medium term. This required a detailed picture of the health needs and service gaps for the catchment, which spans 50,000 square kilometres and serves more than 200,000 people.
We used our technical research skills, knowledge of the sector and understanding of regional Victoria to undertake extensive qualitative and quantitative research, synthesis and analysis. Our approach included collecting and analysing data on population health and the wider determinants of health, an extensive literature review and analysis of current service levels and gaps.
We ran in-depth expert interviews, industry and community focus groups and a community survey to identify the varying needs in the area’s sub-regions. We triangulated this data with our statistical analysis and literature review to understand the region’s healthcare and service needs. The analysis and findings were vital to give the new Medicare Local an accurate picture of its highest priorities and the most urgent services gaps in communities.
The Medicare Local has used our health needs analysis to focus its effort and resources on those areas that will have the greatest positive impact on the health of the community. The needs analysis was a key input into the Medicare Local’s strategic plan, which was also developed by Pinnacle Group Australia.