Study shows shorter life expectancy for people in Far West
14 February 2023
Media Release: Life expectancy shorter for people in Far West NSW
A new study released today by The Australia Institute has shown that the average life expectancy for people living in Far West NSW is 79.1 years compared to 84.5 for people living in Sydney. It also finds that a person living in Far West NSW is twice as likely to die prematurely - before the age of 75 - than someone in Sydney.
A comparison of the top ten causes of death between the city and the country also shows that while the top five are almost identical – heart disease, dementia, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke – the main difference is that many people in the Far West die from the preventable causes of dehydration and suicide. The study says that as recently as 1999 life expectancy was longer, but that the last two decades have seen a marked decline.
The 2022 inquiry into Health outcomes and access to health and hospital services in rural, regional and remote New South Wales, showed some of the disparities in access to health services across NSW leading to poor outcomes for people living outside cities. The inquiry’s report showed the state of decline of the health system in regional areas that has been allowed to take place over the last decade.
The government has been talking since 2018 about spending $700 million on a Statewide Mental Health Infrastructure Program, they even talked about it again earlier this month while making announcements at a hospital in Broken Hill ahead of the election, but clearly their initiative has failed regional NSW. The government has had more than ten years to do something about regional health and this study shows that they are still suffering from the government’s neglect.
For the full report go to https://australiainstitute.org.au/
Media contact: Troy Lennon 0447 381 148