Royal Far West welcomes funding in NSW State Budget

Royal Far West (RFW) welcomes today’s announcement by the NSW Health Minister, Ryan Park, to invest $20m to boost the paediatric allied health workforce in next week’s State budget, as a positive step in the right direction. This funding includes $2.3m over four years for RFW to boost its assessment and diagnosis service for rural and remote children.

“We welcome this funding which will allow RFW to grow our impact on the lives of country children and their families, by providing increased access to early intervention for more country children,” RFW CEO, Jacqueline Emery said.

“This funding is acknowledgment of the significant need in rural and remote NSW for additional services to assist children with developmental challenges – a need amplified by many stakeholders in the community,” Ms Emery said.

“While the funding announced will not allow RFW the transformational change that we were seeking to establish two rural paediatric clinics in Dubbo and Wagga Wagga, RFW will continue to work closely with the State Government and local health providers to determine how to best meet the needs on the ground in these regions.”

NSW Health has been the major funder of this service for over two decades and we welcome their ongoing commitment in this Budget, ” Ms Emery said.

She said “RFW’s role as a specialist child development service plays a critical role in supporting the state’s most vulnerable children and we will continue to see as many children as our funding allows for. We are hopeful that the increase in funding to the public paediatric system will enable us to transition more children back into local services so we can offer more places in our service”

The last Australian Early Developmental Census conducted in 2021 reported children living in rural and remote areas of Australia are up to twice as likely to start school developmentally vulnerable than children living in metropolitan regions.

“We need to continue to advocate for the needs of country children to ensure where you live is not a barrier to access the vital health services needed to reach their potential,” Ms Emery said.