Life Expectancy, Suicide, & Avoidable Death Significantly Worse for Far West NSW than Sydney

New analysis reveals residents born in Far West NSW are suffering substantially worse health outcomes than residents in Sydney.

People in Far West NSW are dying earlier than they should, from avoidable causes, and while suicide rates have steadied in Sydney, they are on the rise in the most remote parts of the state.

The report warns of serious and growing inequality in health outcomes between city and country residents and recommends immediate investment in the sector.

Key points:

  • Life expectancy: People born in the Far West have a life expectancy 5.7 years less than those in Sydney, with the divide worsening
  • Premature death: Residents in Far Western NSW are 2x more likely to die prematurely than those in Sydney
  • Avoidable death: ‘Potentially avoidable deaths’ are 2.5x more likely in the Far West than in Sydney
  • Suicide: Residents in the NSW Far West are 2x as likely to commit suicide than those in Sydney, with a clear upwards trend in suicide rates

“Far West NSW is in serious need of medical attention. Where you live shouldn’t dictate how long you’ll live, but unfortunately in NSW it does” said Kate McBride, Researcher at The Australia Institute.

“Those in the Far West have significantly poorer health outcomes, inferior access to health services and face substantial financial challenges to access services.

“Life expectancy, premature deaths, and ‘potentially avoidable’ deaths are key statistical indicators of whether our health system is working. It is clear from the analysis in this report, sirens should be sounding from the Far West of the state.

“There’s a compelling case for significant investment across the continuum of care, from disease prevention to rehabilitation and ongoing care, in regional NSW.

“The first release in a series, this report reflects a wider national trend: That the health system is failing those living in regional and remote Australia” said Kate McBride

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