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The unlucky country - Part 1: NSW 620.28 KB

Australia has the world’s third highest life expectancy at 84.3 years. However, this national average masks the fact that the ‘lucky country’ has some rather less lucky residents. In every state and territory, those in regional and remote areas have life expectancies several years lower than in the city.

New South Wales (NSW) is a stark example of this divide. Life expectancy in Far West NSW is 79.1 years compared to 84.5 years in Sydney. This more than five-year gap has grown from relative parity at the turn of the millennium to the current gap. Today, a person in far west NSW is more than twice as likely to die prematurely (under 75) than someone in Sydney.

This divide between life expectancy in the cities and in the country is a problem that extends beyond far western NSW. The city/country divide exists across Australia, and it is growing. Inequity between Australians living in capitals and remote areas is a significant problem that demands government intervention, particularly concerning overwhelmed and under resourced health systems.

This report presents a compelling case for significant investment into health services in regional NSW. All the information on which it is based is publicly available, and in 2023, there is no excuse for the bush being considered out of sight, out of mind. While there will be no silver bullet to address the situation, the first step to addressing a problem is admitting there is one.

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