Researching ear, nose, and throat care in Buloke shire

With higher-than-average cases of hospitalisations for ear, nose, and throat (ENT) conditions, the Buloke region has been selected as a research site by La Trobe University researcher, Susan O’Neill.

As an industry partner of La Trobe University, Murray PHN is supporting Susan with her PhD project, which is investigating ENT care and access in the Murray PHN region.

Over the past four years, Mildura-based Susan has been working to build on the Grattan Institute’s ‘Perils of Place’ report, which identified Donald and Swan Hill (in the Murray PHN region) as ‘hotspots,’ or high-risk areas, for potentially preventable hospitalisations of ENT conditions.

The recently published hospital presentation data, analysed in phase two of the study, revealed 15 postcodes with higher-than-normal hospital presentations for upper respiratory tract infections, 14 postcodes for acute tonsillitis and 12 postcodes for otitis media in the Murray PHN region.

The people most likely to be hospitalised were aged birth to nine years old; from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, or from First Nations Communities. Birchip ranked highly for upper respiratory conditions and acute tonsilitis, with 50 per cent of tonsilitis hospital presentation cases being in people 15 to 19 years old, which is unique in comparison with other hotspots.

Given these findings, the Buloke region has been selected as a dedicated case study site to map existing services and speak to community members to better understand both access and barriers to care.

Buloke community members who have accessed healthcare for ENT conditions either for themselves, or as a carer or parent, are invited to share their experiences as part of the research.

Interviews can be by phone, video call or in-person and will take 30-45 minutes. Participants will be offered a $30 grocery voucher for their time. To get involved, email or call 03 4040 4300. To download a poster to help promote the research, click here.



Page last updated 31 August 2023

Comments are closed.