Engaging the decision makers: Planning with rural and remote communities for the delivery of health services using telecommunications networks

Engaging the decision makers: Planning with rural and remote communities for the delivery of health services using telecommunications networks Conference Paper

International Conference on Engaging Communities

  • Author(s): Martini, A
  • Secondary Author(s): Dave Gardiner, Katie Scott
  • Published: 2005
  • Publisher: Queensland Government Department of Communities, and Department of Main Roads

Abstract: A participatory action research study was conducted using a single case to describe and analyse community participation in health service planning by government for regional, rural and remote area health care and telecommunications infrastructure planning in Western Australia. The study provides an account of the state government of Western Australia’s planning for the implementation of a telecommunications network infrastructure between 1998 and 2002. The purpose of the study was to examine the process of participatory planning within the dynamic political, economic and social forces that impact on the development of regional, rural and remote area health services. Specifically, the study outlines the challenges in providing for significant local participation in projects that are centrally initiated and controlled. It examines the problems in planning for projects that incorporate local community based beliefs and needs, the requirements of collaborating multiple state and national government departments, and the private sector. In-depth interviews and a survey was used to collect data and analysis clearly indicated consensus between all respondents that telecommunications did offer the opportunity to provide increased, improved or alternative health services. In general, participants identified a number of barriers to the planning process including; a lack of local community inclusion in planning committees, poor communication within central government, overuse of external consultants, local information being overlooked in the final implementation plan, a bias toward the medical view of health services, and a limited scope of invitation to contribute. Analysis revealed a process for, and the outcomes of, engaging communities when planning for health and telecommunications services which involve the public and private sectors; and indicates the importance of engaging the organisational and political stakeholders who make the final decision about outcomes.

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Suggested Citation
Martini, A, 2005, Engaging the decision makers: Planning with rural and remote communities for the delivery of health services using telecommunications networks, Conference Paper, viewed 13 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3185.

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